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1 .'.fees Strftf. E 1 N B U R 













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All rifkts reserved 




BADMINTON: October 1885. 

HAVING received permission to dedicate these volumes, 
do so feeling that I am dedicating them to one of the 
best and keenest sportsmen of our time. I can say, from 
personal observation, that there is no man who can 
extricate himself from a bustling and pushing crowd of 
horsemen, when a fox breaks covert, more dexterously 
and quickly than His Royal Highness ; and that when 
hounds run hard over a big country, no man can take a 
line of his own and live with them better. Also, when 
the wind has been blowing hard, often have I seen 
His Royal Highness knocking over driven grouse and 
partridges and high-rocketing pheasants in first-rate 


workmanlike style. He is held to be a good yachtsman, 
and as Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron is 
looked up to by those who love that pleasant and 
exhilarating pastime. His encouragement of racing is 
well known, and his attendance at the University, Public 
School, and other important Matches testifies to his 
being, like most English gentlemen, fond of all manly 
sports. I consider it a great privilege to be allowed to 
dedicate these volumes to so eminent a sportsman as 
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and I do 
so with sincere feelings of respect and esteem and loyal 




A FEW LINES only are necessary to explain the object 
with which these volumes are put forth. There is no 
modern encyclopaedia to which the inexperienced man, 
who seeks guidance in the practice of the various British 
Sports and Pastimes, can turn for information. Some 
books there are on Hunting, some on Racing, some on 
Lawn Tennis, some on Fishing, and so on ; but one 
Library, or succession of volumes, which treats of the 
Sports and Pastimes indulged in by Englishmen and 
women is wanting. The Badminton Library is offered 
to supply the want. Of the imperfections which must 
be found in the execution of such a design we are con- 

viii PREFACE. 

scious. Experts often differ. But this we may say, 
that those who are seeking for knowledge on any of the 
subjects dealt with will find the results of many years' 
experience written by men who are in every case adepts 
at the Sport or Pastime of which they write. It is to 
point the way to success to those who are ignorant of 
the sciences they aspire to master, and who have no 
friend to help or coach them, that these volumes are 

To those who have worked hard to place simply and 
clearly before the reader that which he will find within, 
the best thanks of the Editor are due. That it has been 
no slight labour to supervise all that has been written 
he must acknowledge ; but it has been a labour of love, 
and very much lightened by the courtesy of the Publisher, 
by the unflinching, indefatigable assistance of the Sub- 
Editor, and by the intelligent and able arrangement 
of each subject by the various writers, who are so 
thoroughly masters of the subjects of which they treat. 
The reward we all hope to reap is that our work may 
prove useful to this and future generations. 













THE DUTIES OF A WHIPPER-IN . '' . . . 141 


VI. THE HORSE . . 159 














INDEX 363 




IN THE BADMINTON COUNTRY . . . . J. Sturgess Fron. 

' A VIEW HOLLOA ' ( Vignette on Title Page) . J. Sturgess 

IN THE OLDEN TIME J\ Sturgess . i 


J. /. Sturgess . 10 


QUEEN ELIZABETH J. Sturgess . 13 

SKY-BLUE UNIFORMS /. Sturgess . 15 


As WE KNOW IT NOW J. Sturgess . 34 


HEAD DOWN, AND TONGUE OUT . . . J. Charlton . 60 

IN SEARCH OF A SUPPER J. Charlton . 63 

STEALING AWAY. . . . . . . J. Charlton . 65 

HOUNDS WHIMPERING IN FRONT . . . . /. Sturgess . 77 


A MERRY CRY J. Sturgess . 84 

A LITTLE HARD ON THE RUNNERS . . . J. Sturgess . 86 

A GOOD DEAL TOO HOT . . . . . J. Sturgess . 90 


,, ,, ,, GROUND PLAN 95 

A NATURAL POSITION . . . . . J. Sturgess . 96 






PUPPIES /. Charlton . . 123 



HOUNDS FEEDING . . . . . J. Charlton . .128 

HOUNDS AFTER HAVING BEEN FED . . J. Charlton . . 129 

EXERCISING HOUNDS ON THE ROAD . . /. Charlton . .130 

A GOOD HOUND (from a picture) 132 

A BAD HOUND /. Charlton . .133 

THE HUNTSMAN Agnes M. Biddulph 135 

THE WHIPPER-IN Agnes M. Biddulph 141 

THE KENNEL HUNTSMAN . . . . Agnes M. Biddulph 149 

THE EARTH-STOPPER Agnes M. Biddulph 152 

CHOOSE BY HIS HEAD J. Sturgess , . 171 

A COLLECTION OF BAD POINTS. . . /. Sturgess , . 174 

RAPPED IT LIKE THUNDER . . . . J. Slurgess . .182 

A BAD MAN ON A GOOD HORSE . . J. Sturgess . . 188 

NEVER PART COMPANY J. Sturgess . -199 

GIVE YOUR PILOT PLENTY OF ROOM . . J. Sturgess . .211 

GET OFF AND WALK J. Sturgess . .215 

A GALLOP OVER TWYFORD VALB> . . J. Sturgess . . 226 

THE NIAGARA-LIKE RUSH . . \ . J. Sturgess . . 239 

A LIBERAL SUPPLY OF GATES . . . J. Sturgess . . 24! 

ROUGH AND VARIOUS GROUND . . . J. Sturgess . . 243 

TO CREEP WHERE HE MUST NOT FLY . J. Sturgess . . 245 



SONS OF MACADAM J. Sturgess . . 269 

WITH YOU BY TRAIN . . . . J. Slurgess . . 272 

THE ESCAPE OF THE OTTER . . . . J. Charlton . 292 

OTTERS AT PLAY J. Charlton . . 305 

FULL CRY . . . . . . . /. Charlton . .313 



N that most copious and 
useful work, Elaine's 
' Encyclopaedia of Rural 
Sports,' we are reminded 
by judicious illustrations 
from both sacred and 
profane writers for how long a 
time the pursuit of wild ani- 
mals, even as an amusement, 
has engaged the attention of 
man. In these days 
of change, alarm, surprise, 



when the brutality of field-sports is being denounced with so 
much eloquence and energy that one cannot but wonder how 
the world has remained unconvinced through so many years, 
it is, perhaps, idle to speculate how much longer our attention 
will be suffered to employ itself on a pastime which so many 
wise men have agreed to brand as wanton and debasing. A 
sort of melancholy pleasure, therefore, has attended the re- 
searches into which our studies have led us. ' Still distant the 
day,' about a quarter of a century ago sang Egerton Warburton, 
that Homer of the hunting-field, 

Still distant the day, yet in ages to come, 

When the gorse is uprooted, the foxhound is dumb. 

When that race of 'harmless vegetarians,' for whom Mr. 
Froude anticipates the mastery of the world, shall have come 
into their kingdom, then Nimrod will no doubt be dead as Pan, 
and the sports of the field as much an old-world story as the 
'bloody laws' of the Roman circus. Those days, however, 
are not yet. This pious crusade against sport is, after all, no 
new thing. Even in this small matter we are not really refining 
on the morals and manners of our fathers. 

The man who plants cabbages imitates, too ! 

That member for County Waterford, who, as he himself has 
told us from his place in Parliament, once and only once 
joined in the cruel game, and then on the side not of the 
hunters but the hunted does not he find his prototype in 
Master Harry Sandford, whose valorous defiance of a whole 
field of brutal huntsmen brought a horsewhip across his 
shoulders, and tears into our ingenuous eyes? Nay, we may 
go farther back still ; we may go back to the eleventh century, 
and to Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, of whom we read 
in Mr. Green's ' History of the English People,' that when 
once a hunted hare took refuge under his horse, 'his gentle 
voice grew loud as he forbade the huntsmen to stir in the 
chase while the creature darted off again to the woods.' 

As to speak of hunting, then, in the future may seem but 


a vain thing, so the more excuse may there be for gathering 
up into one convenient compass the scattered records of its 
ancient and honourable past. That we shall find anything new 
to say of it either historically or, if the word may serve, scien- 
tifically, we may hardly hope. Though it is certainly true, 
as Gervase Markham observed on a somewhat similar occasion, 
that 'Time (which is the mother of experience) doth in our 
labours show us more new and more nearer ways to our ends 
than at the first we conceive/ still, since he discoursed on the 
arts of hunting and of ' riding great horses,' so many men have 
followed in his steps, that it would be a bold spirit indeed who 
should sit down now to such a theme with the assurance that 
he had anything fresh to offer either to the knowledge of the 
veteran or the curiosity of the tyro. A 'Country Gentleman,' 
writing little more than a century ago, found himself constrained 
to admit, ' there hath already (by many well-experienced men) 
been so much written of this subject that I know not well what 
to write, except I should in some sort repeat another man's 
tale.' Nevertheless the literature of hunting is of many 
kinds. To present in a convenient shape the best, to use the 
fashionable phrase of criticism, of all that has been thought 
and said on the subject, is the prime purpose of our book. If 
so far we shall be held in some sort to have succeeded, we shall 
trust to be excused for having added one more to the many 
volumes that have been written on a sport which one of its 
most honourable chroniclers has declared to be ' most royal for 
the stateliness thereof, most artificial for the wisdom and 
cunning thereof, and most manly and warlike for the use and 
endurance thereof.' 

We do not propose to begin, as children love to have their 
stories told them, at the very beginning. Writers of all sorts 
and conditions, from the gravest, ruve not disdained to record 
the pleasures of the chase, and to expound its mysteries. From 
Xenophon to Major Whyte-Melville, from Oppian to Mr. 
Bromley-Davenport, from Dame Juliana Berners to the curious 
individual known to men and columns as ' Ouida,' the list is 


indeed a long and varied one. To exhaust it would involve a 
demand upon space and time scarce less, if less at all, than 
that which would have been required by Mr. Caxton's 'History 
of Human Error,' had that immortal though unwritten work 
been ever released from the brain of its illustrious projector. 
Attractive, therefore, as it might be to turn the eyes of the imagi- 
nation backward o'er the 'abyss of time' to Xenophon putting 
his precepts into practice among the hares he loved so well to 
follow in his quiet Elean home ; or side by side with Synesius, 
the squire-bishop of Gyrene, to chase the ostrich or the antelope 
through the heavy African sands ; we propose to resist the at- 
traction, and to confine ourselves to the history of the chase as 
followed and recorded within our own islands ; starting from 
the time when it began to be regarded rather as a recreation 
than as a means for supplying what Mr. Matthew Arnold has 
eloquently styled the 'great first needs of our poor mortality 
lodging, food, and raiment.' It is possible that our readers 
may be inclined not to regret our self-denial. 

Beckford, in the introductory chapter to his ' Thoughts on 
Hunting,' observes that Somerville is the only man, so far as 
he knows, 'who has written on this subject so as to be under- 
stood ; ' an observation supported by the preface to the edition 
of 1820, in which it is stated with amazing effrontery or ignor- 
ance, that 'till Mr. Beckford's book appeared no work on the 
subject of hunting had been published, except an anonymous 
publication in 1733, entitled "An Essay on Hunting."' This is 
a cruel slur on some most worthy men and amusing writers. 
Indeed, the early masters of the 'Noble Art of Venerie,' as 
they mostly delight to style their favourite pastime, are in their 
way as quaint and entertaining companions as a man not too 
steadily serious, to use Johnson's phrase, need wish to pass an 
idle hour with. Their style is, no doubt, not exactly Addi- 
sonian ; their spelling is somewhat arbitrary ; the entertain- 
ment they provide is apt on occasion to take a form of expres- 
sion contrary to the modern code of good manners. Let it be 


granted, too, that one would hardly go to them now for instruc- 
tion, though as a matter of fact the first principles of the craft 
have changed but little since their day ; we may teach dif- 
ferently, but we teach pretty much the same doctrine. Still, 
they were quite as keen about their business as Somerville, 
and, allowing for the inevitable change of years, knew quite 
as much about it. And, certainly, they are very much more 
amusing than Somerville, if not quite so classical as is that 
erudite squire. 

' The earliest manuscript on hunting I have met with,' says 
Strutt, in his ' Sports and Pastimes of the People of England,' 
' is one in the Cotton Library at the British Museum, written at 
the commencement of the fourteenth century.' The manu- 
script Strutt saw was an English version of a French treatise, 
according to a note in Warton's ' History of English Poetry ' at 
that time in the possession of a Mr. Farmer, of Tusmor in 
Oxfordshire. Its full title was as follows : 'Art de Venerie le 
quel Maistre Guillaume Twici venour le Roy d'Angleterre fist 
en son temps per Aprandre autres.' This Master William Twici 
was huntsman to Edward II. The King, as became a royal 
sportsman, had another ' Maister of the Game,' an Englishman, 
one John Gyfford, and he it was who made the translation of 
the Frenchman's treatise that Strutt saw. A second translation, 
or rather a rescript of the first with additions, was made later 
by Henry IV.'s huntsman, for the special edification of that 
1 imp of fame,' Harry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales. This 
may be identical with the ' Maister of the Game,' to be men- 
tioned later, but neither Strutt nor ' Cecil' (who, in his 'Records 
of the Chase,' quotes largely from it) makes this clear. From 
the extracts the latter gives, it is, however, evident that the 
writer, whether the Duke of York or another, had carefully 
studied his predecessor's work. 

Next we come to the treatise popularly ascribed to Dame 
Juliana Berners, of pious and immortal, if somewhat apocryphal 
memory, and included in the famous ' Boke of St. Albans,' so 
called from having been printed at that town in 1486. A cloud 


of mystery hung for a long while over the lady and her work, 
nor indeed has it ever been wholly cleared away. Her name 
has been variously printed as Barnes, Bernes and Berners. 
Even her sex was for a time doubtful, for Baker, in his 
Chronicles, supposing Julyan (as her Christian name was 
originally printed) must needs be a man's name, describes the 
worthy prioress as 'a gentleman of excellent gifts, who wrote 
certain treatises of Hawking and Hunting.' Nor is her share 
in ' The Boke ' known for certain. By earlier authorities she 
was held to have been responsible for all three divisions of the 
volume, Hawking, Hunting, and Heraldry ; by the latest, Mr. 
William Blades (in the preface to his edition of ' The Boke ' 
published in 1881), she is dismissed with sad contempt as 
having ' probably lived at the beginning of the fifteenth century, 
and possibly compiled from existing MSS. some rhymes on 
hunting.' Yet, as a matter of fact, this is all that a strictly 
conscientious historian can permit himself to say about her. 
Down to a late period she was popularly supposed to have pre- 
sided over Sopwell Nunnery in Hertfordshire, a house founded 
about 1140 under the rule of St. Benedict, and subject to the 
Abbot of St. Albans ; subject indeed in late years after a fashion 
not contemplated, let us hope, by its original founders. This 
conjecture, one would have thought, might have rendered her 
authorship of a book on field sports, to say the least, somewhat 
problematical. But the obstacle was satisfactorily removed by 
the further supposition that our dame's youth was passed at 
Court, where she would naturally have joined in all fashion- 
able amusements. Unfortunately for the history-makers, Mr. 
Blades has pointed out that in the lists of the Prioresses of 
Sopwell for the fifteenth century no such name as Barnes or 
Berners is to be found. He also mentions another curious fact 
on the authority of Mr. Halliwell-Phillips, which may possibly 
help to explain the mystery, though he does not precisely venture 
to say so. It seems that men called Berners were employed 
by the sportsmen of that century to wait upon them with relays of 
horses second horsemen, in fact and also to feed the hounds. 


Somewhere between these two comes ' The Maister of the 
Game,' not mentioned by Strutt, but a copy of which 'Cecil ' 
says he had seen in the possession of a Mr. Richard Dansey, 
of Herefordshire. He supposes it to have been written by 
Edmund de Langley, Duke of York, son of Edward III., who 
was noted among his contemporaries for his delight and skill in 
hunting and hawking, and was made by his father, as Harding 
tells us in his Chronicle, 

Maister of the mewhouse, and of hawkes feire, 
Of his Venerie, and maister of his game. 

From the extracts quoted by ' Cecil ' it seems to be superior in 
point of style to Twici's work, and also more exhaustive and 
practical, but to those extracts our knowledge is confined. 

In the following century our bibliography appears to have 
been enriched by only two writers, George Turberville, and Sir 
Thomas Cockaine. Of the latter history is silent, but Turber- 
ville, or Tuberville, was a personage of some note, a poet and 
diplomatist, as well as a sportsman. He was educated at 
Winchester, and at New College, of which he was a Fellow. He 
went to Russia as secretary to Randolph, Elizabeth's famous 
ambassador, and published a poetical description of ih'at 
country, besides other volumes of verse, songs, sonnets, and 
translations. Anthony Wood in his ' Athenae Oxonienses ' de- 
scribes him as a most accomplished gentleman, and ' much 
admired for his excellencies in the art of poetry.' 

As far as we have got hitherto, there is certainly some colour 
for Beckford's contemptuous dismissal of all writers before 
Somerville. It is certainly not easy to gather from these books 
any very precise idea of the way our forefathers took their 
pleasure in the field. Turberville's and Cockaine's the latter 
but a small pamphlet are worth looking at chiefly for the 
quaintness of the woodcuts, and also of their language. Twici 
busies himself chiefly with the different notes to be sounded on 
the horn, according to the game being hunted and the state of 
the chase ; but he also gives the names of the various beasts 


that are legitimate objects of sport, and some directions for 
blooding the hounds and breaking up the game, the huntsman 
being particularly warned against giving any part of the fox to 
the hounds, 'for it is not good for them.' Dame Juliana, or 
whoever is to be credited with the book that goes under her 
name, has practically done little more than put into doggrel 
rhyme the precepts of Twici and his English translator, though 
the rhymester quotes the legendary authority of Six Tristram, 
who seems to have been regarded in those days as the par- 
ticular patron of huntsmen ; we find Cockaine, for example, 
gravely asserting that ' it hath been long received for a truth 
that Sir Tristram, one of King Arthure's knights, was the first 
writer and as it were founder of the honourable and delightful 
sport of hunting.' They have their own interest, all these 
works, but the interest is one which appeals rather to the anti- 
quarian than the sportsman. They tell the latter little, and it is 
hard to imagine that they can have told their own contem- 
poraries very much. 

Our knowledge of what we may call the dark ages of hunt- 
ing is derived mainly from the indefatigable Strutt, who has, if 
we may employ a sporting metaphor, drawn all sorts of coverts 
which up to that time had been undisturbed, and but for him had 
very likely remained so to this day. It is true that what he has 
contrived to unearth is not very much, but it is something ; it 
gives us some idea of the estimation in which hunting was held 
by our remote ancestors, if not very much of the way in which 
it was pursued. He found, for example, that Alfred the Great, 
that pious and learned king, was a ' most expert and active 
hunter, and excelled in all the branches of that most noble art, 
to which he applied with incessant labour and amazing success.' 
While the Danes ruled in England the sport began to be fenced 
about with certain restrictions tending to confine it to the 
upper classes, though Canute, who also prohibited all hunting 
and hawking on the Sabbath, while rigorously forbidding all 
trespass on the royal hunting grounds, allowed each man to dis- 
port himself at will on his own. Any violation of these restric- 


lions was severely punished, in certain cases with death. 
These game-laws were in existence at any rate down to the 
time of John, and lost, we may be sure, none of their rigour 
under the Norman rule. Hunting was then pre-eminently a 
royal pastime. Even Edward the Confessor, who abhorred all 
secular amusements, made an exception in favour of the chase 
both with hound and hawk. He took the greatest delight, says 
Strutt, quoting William of Malmesbury, ' to follow a pack of 
swift hounds in pursuit of game, and to cheer them with his 
voice.' Everyone knows the cruel measures taken by the 
Conqueror to make and stock the royal hunting-grounds, an 
example followed, though in a less brutal degree, by his son 
Henry, who made the great park at Woodstock, and walled it 
round with seven miles of stone ; wherein after him his grand- 
son, the first of our Plantagenet kings, kept, if history speak 
truth, other game than stag and boar. Gradually the great 
nobles followed suit. Henry, Earl of Warwick, made a park at 
Wedgenoke, and others began to inclose ground in various 
parts of the country, without much regard to the rights of the 
commons. A contemporary writer, John of Salisbury, gives a 
gloomy picture of the height to which the luling passion had 
grown, and of the hardships to which the lower classes were 
subject for their rulers' pleasure. ' In our time,' he says, ' hunt- 
ing and hawking are esteemed the most honourable employ- 
ments and most excellent virtues by our nobility, and they 
think it the height of worldly felicity to spend the whole of 
their time in these diversions ; accordingly they prepare for 
them with more solicitude, expense, and parade, than they do for 
war; and pursue the wild beasts with greater fury than they do 
the enemies of their country. By constantly following this way 
of life they lose much of their humanity, and become as savage 
nearly as the very beasts they hunt. Husbandmen, with their 
harmless herds and flocks, are driven from their well-cultivated 
fields, their meadows and their pastures, that wild beasts may 
range in them without interruption.' And he then gives the 
following piece of advice to all whom it may concern : ' If one 



of these great and merciless hunters shall pass by your habita- 
tion, bring forth hastily all the refreshment you have in your 
house, or that you can readily buy or borrow from your neigh- 
bours ; that you may not be involved in ruin, or even accused 
of treason.' This refreshing practice is, happily, still much 
in vogue, though not from the same interested motives. Per- 
haps the worthy chronicler did not disdain a little to over- 
colour his picture, after the fashion of sundry good souls of 
our own day. History, at any rate, hardly bears out the com- 

' Chased the fox as vigorously as he did the French.' 

pbint that these 'di- 
versions ' weakened 
the Englishman's 
arm for war. When 
Edward III., for ex- 
ample, was engaged 
in his French wars, he had always with him in the field sixty 
couple of stag-hounds and as many harriers, with which he 
diverted himself when not more sternly engaged a practice 
followed, we may add, though in less royal fashion, by a still 
greater conqueror than Edward, for throughout the Peninsula 
campaign Wellington always kept a pack of hounds at head- 
quarters, and chased the foxes quite as vigorously and suc- 
cessfully as he did the French. But there is no doubt that 


hunting, as then enjoyed by the upper classes, entailed much 
suffering and oppression on the lower. The clergy were par- 
ticular offenders. By a charter of Henry III. archbishops and 
bishops were allowed, when travelling through the royal forests, 
on the King's service, to kill two deer under certain conditions. 
In time their permission came to be construed more largely, 
and the priest grew as mighty a hunter as the baron. Chaucer 
has many a hit at this unclerical practice. In the Prologue to 
his ' Canterbury Tales ' the monk is described as 

A fayre for the maistrie, 
An outrider that loved venerie ; 
A manly man to bell an abbot able. 
Full many a deinte hors hadde he in stable. 

Therefore he was a prickasoure a right : 
Greihoundes he hadde as swift as foul of flight : 
Of pricking and of hunting for the hare 
Was all his lust, for no cost wolde he spare. 

Again, in the ' Ploughman's Tale,' if that be truly Chaucer's, 
which is specially directed against the luxury and loose living of 
the clergy, it is laid among the monk's malpractices that he win 

ride on courses as a knight 
With hawkis and with houndis eke, 

and that, 

He mote go hunte with dogge and bich 
And blowen his home and cryin Hey. 

Of a certain Walter, bishop of Rochester in the thirteenth 
century, Strutt tells us that 'he was an excellent hunter, and 
so fond of the sport that at the age of fourscore he made 
hunting his sole employment, to the total neglect of the duties 
of his office.' Another occupant of the episcopal bench, 
Reginald Brian, bishop of Worcester, we find writing, in the 
following century, to his brother, bishop of St. Davids, to 
remind him of a promised gift of some hounds. His heart 
languishes, he says, for their arrival : 'let them come then, oh! 


reverend father ! without delay ; let my woods re-echo with 
the music of their cry and the cheerful notes of the horn, and 
let the walls of mv palace be decorated with the trophies of the 
chase ! ' Again, William de Clowne, Abbot of St. Mary's in 
Leicestershire, was so famous a hunter and so renowned for 
his breed of hounds, that he was granted, by royal charter, the 
privilege of holding an annual fair or market for their sale. 
From the earliest times, indeed, it seems Churchmen were 
wont to be particular sinners in this respect, for Mi. Froude 
tells us that Wulsig and Walnoth, Abbots of the great monas- 
tery of St. Albans in the ninth century, were notorious for 
neglecting their duties for the society of hound and hawk, as 
well as for other society even less convenient for an abbot. 
Henry II. and Richard II. both in their times tried to put a 
stop to such scandals, but probably more with a view to thwart 
the power and ambition of the priesthood than from any 
strictly moral motive. At any rate neither they nor their 
successors seem to have been able to effect much. In the 
reign of Henry VI. the clergy are particularly warned against 
' hawkynge, huntynge, and dawnsynge ; ' and at the time of the 
English Reformation the see of Norwich alone owned thirteen 
parks well stocked with game of every kind ! 

The presence of ladies in the hunting-field dates from very 
early times. At first probably they were content to be spec- 
tators only, watching the sport from wooden stands erected for 
the purpose, beneath which the game was driven. But they 
evidently soon aspired to a more active part. From an illus 
trated manuscript of the fourteenth century, some cuts from 
which are given by Strutt, we learn that ladies took the field 
on horseback, and bestrode their horses, moreover, after the 
fashion of men ! How they disposed of the garments proper 
to their sex, which they apparently still retained, does not seem 
very clear. The costume now in vogue among Amazons did 
not apparently come into use till three centuries later, and then 
only partially. Strutt quotes a writer of that time to the effect 
that the ladies of Bury in Suffolk, ' that used hawking and hunting, 


were once in a great vaine of wearing breeches,' whence arose, 
he says, many severe and ludicrous sarcasms. It was urged, 
on the side of the ladies, that in case of accident decency was 
thus better preserved ; but to this the answer was, ' that such 
accidents ought to be prevented in a manner more consistent 
with the delicacy of the sex, that is, by refraining from such 
dangerous recreations ' and possibly, as Goldsmith's connois- 
seur observed of a different matter, there is much to be said 
on both sides. Queen Elizabeth was a notable huntress. 
Elaine, in his ' Encyclopaedia of Rural Sports,' quotes an 

' Queen Elizabeth was a notable huntress.' 

account from an eye-witness of her Majesty's prowess at 
Kenilworth during her magnificent entertainment by Leicester 
in 1575 ; and towards the end of her long life, when at 
Oatlands, she is described in a contemporary letter as still 
' well and excellently disposed to hunting, for every second day 
she is on horseback and continues the sport long.' Though 
Lord Tennyson has called her the 'man-minded offspring' of 
her father, it does not appear that she was sufficiently mascu- 
line to adopt the seat in vogue among her sex in the fourteenth 
century. According to Elaine that fashion was put out of court 


in England by Anne of Bohemia, wife of Richard II., who was 
the first to ride in the modern manner ; though in Portugal, if 
Sir Nathaniel Wraxall may be trusted, the earlier style still pre- 
vailed in the latter half of the last century. If this were so, we 
must suppose that the ' Bury ladies ' aped the sterner sex only 
in their garb and not in their seat ; that, in fact, they draped 
themselves much as the Dianas of our own time, save that they 
did not consult decorum to the extent of a skirt. From a 
passage in Pope's correspondence we learn that in his time 
hunting was high in fashion among the Court ladies, though in 
one instance, at any rate, it seems to have been a fashion 
followed, like so many other fashions, less from inclination 
than etiquette. 'I met the Prince,' he writes to some anony- 
mous fair, 'with all his ladies on horseback coming from 
hunting. Mrs. B and Mrs. L took me into protec- 
tion (contrary to the laws against harbouring Papists), and gave 
me a dinner with something I liked better, an opportunity of 

conversation with Mrs. H . We all agreed that the life of 

a Maid of Honour was of all things the most miserable ; and 
wished that every woman who envied it had a specimen of it. 
To eat Westphalia ham in a morning, ride over hedges and 
ditches on borrowed hacks, come home in the heat of the day 
with a fever and (what is worse a hundred times) with a red 
mark in the forehead from an uneasy hat ; all this may qualify 
them to make excellent wives for fox- hunters, and bear abun- 
dance of ruddy-complexioned children.' The most renowned 
Diana of that century seems to have been Lady Salisbury, who 
kept a pack of dwarf foxhounds at Hatfield, and went a-hunting 
in great state, her servants magnificent in sky-blue uniforms, 
black collars, lappels, and jockey-caps. In ths ' Sporting 
Magazine' for March 1795, there is an account of her triumphs 
in a great run of two hours and a half : ' Out of a field of 
fourscore,' says her enthusiastic chronicler, ' her ladyship soon 
gave honest Daniel the go-by ; pressed Mr. Hale neck-and- 
neck, soon blowed the whipper-in, and continued, indeed, 
throughout the whole of the chase to be nearest the brush.' 


A worthy match to her would have been that stout old French 
lady of whom Mr. Vyner tells us in his 'Notitia Venatica;' 
Dame Marie Cecile Charlotte de Lauretan, Baronne de Dracek. 
When she lived is not made precisely clear, but Mr. Vyner saw 
her picture in 1839 when he visited the old castle in which she 
used to hold her state, about sixteen miles from Calais. She 
was painted on her favourite grey horse, dressed in a green 
coat, with a gold waist-belt. Her hair was powdered and 

' Magnificent in sky-blue uniforms.' 

arranged in large curls, and her hat was high crowded with a 
gold band. Her nether woman was clad in boots and leather 
breeches, and she rode as men do. Eight hunters were in her 
stable, and in her bedroom she kept her favourite guns and 
saddles. She hunted three days a week, and had a dinner party 
on every hunting day. More than 670 wolves are said to have 
fallen by her hand ; and when sterner game was not to be had, 


she did not disdain the badger or the fox. She died of apoplexy 
in her own house at seventy-five years of age. There was 
a certain Miss Draper also, appropriately christened Diana, 
the daughter of a famous old Yorkshire squire, who won 
great praise in her time. She was wont to assist her father 
in the field, 'cheering the hounds with her voice.' It is 
also ncted of her that she 'died at York in a good old age, 
and, what was more wonderful to many sportsmen who dared 
not follow her, she died with whole bones in her bed.' Her 
father was quite 'a character,' and as he must be the earliest 
of the old fox-hunters of whom we have any note, if it be true, 
as the 'Druid' says, in 'Scott and Sebright,' that he com- 
menced operation in 1726, the following account of him, from 
'The Hunting Directory,' may be interesting : 

In the old, but now ruinous, mansion of Berwick Hall, in the 
East Riding of Yorkshire, once lived the well-known William 
Draper, Esq., who bred, fed, and hunted the staunchest pack of 
foxhounds in Europe. Upon an income of only yoo/. he brought 
up creditably eleven sons and daughters ; kept a stable of excellent 
foxhounds, besides a carriage with horses suitable for the conveni- 
ence of my lady and her daughters. He lived in the old honest 
style of his country, killing every month a good ox of his own 
feeding, and priding himself on maintaining a substantial table, but 
with no foreign kickshaws. His general apparel was a long, dark 
drab hunting-coat, a belt round his waist, and a strong velvet 
cap on his head. In his humour he was very facetious, always 
having some pleasant story, both in the field and in the hall, so 
that his company was much sought after by persons of good con- 
dition, and which was of great use to him in the advancement of 
his children. His stables and kennels were kept in such order, 
that sportsmen observed them as schools for huntsmen and grooms, 
who were glad to come there without wages merely to learn their 
business. When they had obtained proper instruction he then 
recommended them to other gentlemen, who wished for no better 
character than Squire Draper's recommendation. He was always 
up during the hunting season at four in the morning, mounted on 
one of his nags at five, himself bringing forth his hounds, who 
knew every note of their old master's voice. In the field he rode 
with judgment, avoiding what was unnecessary, and helping his 


hounds when they were at fault. After the fatigues of the chy, 
which were generally crowned with the brushes of a brace of foxes, 
he entertained those who would return with him, and which was 
sometimes thirty miles' distance, with old English hospitality. 
Good old October was the liquor drunk ; and his first fox-hunting 
toast was All the brushes in Christendom. At the age of eighty- 
years this gentleman died as he chiefly lived, for he died on horse- 
back. As he was going to give some instructions to a friend who 
was rearing up a pack of foxhounds, he was seized with a fit, and 
dropping from his old favourite pony, he expired ! There was no 
man, rich or poor, in his neighbourhood but lamented his death, 
and the foxes were the only things that had occasion to be glad 
Squire Draper was no more. 

Though hunting was, as we have seen, in its early days the 
exclusive amusement of the noble classes, an exception was 
always made in favour of the citizens of London from almost 
immemorial times. Strutt quotes a charter granted to them by 
Henry I. which contains the following clause : ' The citizens 
of London may have chases, and hunt as well, and as fully, as 
their ancestors have had ; that is to say, in the Chiltre, in 
Middlesex and Surrey.' According to ' Cecil,' the Lord Mayor 
himself kept hounds from a time vaguely specified as ' many 
centuries ago ; ' and Lincoln's Inn Fields, St. James's, and 
May Fair were the favourite places of meeting. The privi- 
leges granted by Henry were confirmed by all succeeding 
kings. In the reign of George I. we find 'riding on horse- 
back and hunting with my Lord Mayor's hounds when the 
common- hunt goes out,' reckoned by Strype among the 
favourite amusements of Londoners. This 'common-hunt' 
was, no doubt, the origin of that ' Epping Hunt ' which has 
been the butt of so many wits from the time of D'Urfey 
down to our own. In the ' Sporting Magazine ' for 1795 there 
is an account of a run with the Lord Mayor's hounds, de- 
signed to show how unfounded were the jests cut at the good 
citizens' expense, and that the sport was a serious and a 
legitimate business. A stag is turned out, and it is particularly 
noted that his antlers had been sawn off, a practice which has 



long been common in the Royal Hunt, but was then an innova- 
tion. This gallant beast was taken in ' Burleigh's Pond,' as we 
see in an accompanying engraving, but reserved for a future 
occasion. So far all may have been well enough, but the 
chronicler, unfortunately for his cause, is a little too minute in 
his details. Not only were booths for refreshment erected at 
the place of meeting, but, after the proper sport of the day was 
over, a ' genteel marquee ' was pitched, appropriately enough 
near an inn known as 'The Bald-Faced Stag,' wherein a lady, 
'elegantly dressed 'in a riding-habit, and with 'a bewitching 
face and fascinating address,' presided over sundry E.O. tables. 
To turn again to our bibliography, in the seventeenth 
century we find a great improvement. Gervase Markham's 
' Country Contentments,' and Richard Blome's ' Gentleman's 
Recreation,' are not only intelligible enough for any reader, but 
also extremely useful and practical ; so that Beckford's saying is 
itself intelligible only on the supposition that he was unaware 
of their existence. Markham was the son of a Nottinghamshire 
squire, and a man of many pursuits and accomplishments. He 
was a soldier, a poet, and a playwright, as well as a sportsman 
and farmer. It was in his latter capacities, however, that he won 
most fame. His treatises on horsemanship and sport were so 
highly esteemed in his time that, according to a document in 
Stationers' Hall, he bound himself by an agreement with his 
publishers to write no more, lest the copyrights they already 
held should be injured by further publications. Of Blome, or 
Bloome, we know less. There is a man of that name very roughly 
handled in the ' Athense Oxonienses ' for pirating an edition 
of Bareham's ' Display of Heraldry.' He is described by Wood 
as ' a kind of arms painter (originally a ruler of paper, and now 
a scribbler of books), who hath since practised for divers years 
progging tricks in employing necessitous persons to write in 
several arts, and to get contributions of noblemen to promote 
the work.' Blome's book was certainly published by sub- 
scription, one of the editions containing the coats-of-arms of 
the various subscribers. It also includes a treatise on heraldry, 


as well as a disquisition on the arts and sciences, so that we 
may reasonably conclude that more than one hand went to its 
composition. Still, despite Wood's objurgations, the book is 
really both a curious and valuable one, in the department of 
field-sports at any rate, whatever may have been Blome's precise 
share in it. It contains, moreover, a number of plates, which 
are not only good specimens of the engraving of the day, but 
useful as showing the costume in which our fathers took the 
field. On the whole it may be said of all our early works on 
sport to be the one which gives the fullest and most practical 
information on the subject. Markham is practical, tco, but he 
occupies himself more with the breeding, training, and manage- 
ment of horses and hounds, than with the actual pursuit of the 
game, though he does not altogether neglect that. Blome is 
naturally, moreover, less archaic in his language and style than 
the elder writer, about whom still hangs that flavour of quaint- 
ness which belonged to English prose down to the age of 
Dryden. Hunting, for example, he defines as ' a curious search 
or conquest of one beast over another, pursued by a natural! 
instinct of enmitie, and accomplished by the diversities and 
distinctions of smells onelie, wherein nature equallie deviding 
her cunning giveth both to the offender and offended strange 
knowledge both of offence and safety.' He writes of ' high- 
way dogges,' hounds, that is to say, which will carry the scent 
along a high road ; of ' dogges of nimble composure,' meaning 
quick and well-made ; and of certain others being ' the most 
principall best to compose your kennell off.' In Blome's book 
of course we get much less of this style of writing, though 
he, too, can amuse as well as instruct us ; by warning, for ex- 
ample, those who go forth to hunt the hare, that it is 'a very 
melancholy beast,' and therefore ' very fearful and crafty.' 

First in the next century comes that anonymous author of 
that ' Essay on Hunting ' which Beckford's editor declares, as 
we have seen, to have been the only book written on the subject 
prior to the famous letters. It was published in 1773 and is 
said by the same authority to be full of 'good sense and 



practical knowledge.' Whether this statement is more in 
accordance with fact than the other we cannot say, as we must 
confess to have never met with a copy. Our only knowledge 
of it is derived from the ' Druid,' who was more fortunate than 
we. The author, as he tells us in ' Silk and Scarlet,' ' pre- 
sumes on pardon from the loquacious world, if among so many 
treatises, vindications, replies, journals, craftsmen, hyp-doctors, 
and lay preachers, the press be borrowed a day or two for a plain 
essay on the innocent recreation of us country squires.' The 
hunting of the hare was clearly the recreation nearest the heart 
of this particular squire. In the 'Druid's' words, 'a fox, it is 
true, is curled up at the end of the essay ; but he runs hare 
throughout.' Still more candid is the next writer, a Mr. 
Gardiner, author of 'The Art and the Pleasures of Hare Hunting, 
in six letters to a Person of Quality,' who evidently thinks the 
' triumph of the timid hare ' is the only triumph worthy of a true 
sportsman. Three years later we get into a wider field with 
* The Country Gentleman's Companion,' compiled by 'a Country 
Gentleman from his own Experiences ; ' a sensible little book, 
owing a great deal, of course, to its predecessors, despite the 
author's prefatory disclaimer, nor always acknowledging its 
debts, but yet with a good deal to say for itself, especially on the 
breeding and management of hounds, and the general economy 
of the kennel. Between the anonymous ' Essay on Hunting ' 
and these two works comes Somerville's ' Chase,' which most 
people interested in the subject have probably read once at 
least in their lives ; if they have never studied the original, they 
must at any rate have got a very fair idea of it from Beckford's 
book, in which from first to last the most important part of the 
poem is practically reprinted. Beckford himself of course marks 
an era not only in the literature but in the history of hunting. 
Whatever may have been the real value of the writers before 
him, it is certain that to all who have come after him he has 
been a ' guide, philosopher, and friend.' It is scarcely too 
much to say that since his ' Thoughts upon Hunting ' were first 
printed in 1781 there has been no writer who has gone at all 


seriously into the science and economy of the subject who has not 
more or less made use of their amusing pages. For they are as 
amusing as sensible. Even those who regard the subject itself 
with indifference or dislike could not but allow on trial that 
Beckford is at least never tedious or dull, for all his own modest 
declaration that ' fox-hunting, however lively and animating it 
may be in the field, is but a dull dry subject to write upon.' 
He has generally some witty story or shrewd saying at hand to 
point his moral, and his style is quite a model for such a work. 
No man ever so happily illustrated Johnson's saying of the 
importance of being able to write trifles with dignity. At the 
same time he is never pompous or pedantic, any more than he 
is slovenly or vulgar. Beckford was in fact a remarkably well- 
read and cultivated man, one of the very best specimens of the 
English country squire the last century affords us a striking 
antithesis, indeed, to that other fox-hunting squire whom 
Fielding drew, more typical of the breed, perhaps, than Beckford. 
Cousin to that famous Lord Mayor, John Wilkes's champion, 
patron that was to have been of poor Chatterton, and fathei 
to the great lord of Fonthill, our author inherited from his father 
a comfortable estate in Dorsetshire which enabled him to- in- 
dulge his tastes both for letters and sport. His ' Familiar Letters 
from Italy to a Friend in England,' the record of a continental 
tour made just before the outbreak of the French Revolution, 
are most agreeable reading, the work of a man well versed in 
ancient and modern literature, and of good taste and perception. 
A contemporary writer has thus pithily summed him up : 'Never 
had fox or hare the honour of being chased to death by so 
accomplished a huntsman ; never was huntsman's dinner graced 
by such urbanity and wit. He would bag a fox in Greek, find 
a hare in Latin, inspect his kennels in Italian, and direct the 
economy of his stables in exquisite French.' ' 

With Beckford's book our retrospect of the literature of 
hunting may fitly close. He clearly marks the end of the old 

1 We are indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Robert Harrison, Librarian of 
the London Library, for these particulars of Beckford's accomplishments. 


school and the beginning of the new. With the works of the 
latter, both serious and fictitious, from Delme Radcliffe and 
4 Nimrod,' down to ' Scrutator ' and ' Cecil,' Surtees, John 
Mills and Whyte-Melville, we may suppose our readers to 
be well enough acquainted ; and as we shall ourselves have 
many occasions to consult them in the course of the following 
pages, it would be superfluous to spend further time over them 

When hunting began to be regarded as an organised pastime 
with laws and arts of its own, a list was drawn up of the beasts 
a true sportsman might legitimately occupy himself in chasing. 
It was, of course, a pretty large one, and was divided by Twici into 
three classes. The first contains four, distinguished as ' beasts 
for hunting,' the hare, the hart, the wolf, and the wild boar ; 
the second five, known as ' beasts for the chase,' the buck, the 
doe, the fox, the martin, and the roe ; in the third come the 
grey or badger, the wild cat, and the otter, mentioned as afford- 
ing ' greate dysporte ' to the huntsman, but evidently regarded 
as legitimate game only in default of something better. By 
later writers the 'beasts of the chase' were subdivided into two 
further classes. In the first were the buck, the doe, the bear, 
the rein-deer, the elk and spytard, a hart of one hundred years 
old ; in the second, which obviously includes also the original 
third class, the fulimart, the fitchat or fitcb, the cat, the badger, 
the fox, the weasel, the martin, the squirrel, the white rat, the 
otter, the stoat, and the pole-cat. The first division was known 
as beasts 'of sweet flight,' to distinguish it from the others 
who were classed as beasts of 'stinking flight;' a distinction 
whi'ch Strutt interprets as referring to the scent the latter give 
when chased ; but inasmuch as the former must certainly have 
supplied a similar means of pursuit, it most probably was de- 
signed to distinguish the estimation in which the two classes of 
game were held. It is at any rate clear that our ancestors, 
when they went a-hunting, were pretty much of a mind with 
the accommodating witness provided for one of Mr. Jaggers's 
clients, and were prepared ' in a general way for anythink.' 


As our business, however, lies with the game of to-day, we 
need not stay to consider in what manner the capture of the 
weasel or the pole-cat was encompassed, or even of the wolf or 
the boar. As the forest gradually disappeared, and land came 
more and more under cultivation, the greater part of these beasts 
either vanished altogether or became so infrequent as to drop 
out of the sportsman's list and take their place on the roll of 
vermin. Even Twici practically confines himself to the stag, 
the fox, and the hare, and we may be well content to follow 
Twici's example. 

Of these, the stag of course held the first place, from his 
size, swiftness, and courage, as well as from the uses to which 
he could be put after death in supplying both the inner and 
the outer necessities of man. ' Of the Stagge,' says Markham, 
' which is the most princelie and roiel Chase of all Chases, and 
for whom indeed this Art of Hunting was first found out and 
invented, he is of all beasts the goodliest, statelyest, and most 
manly.' But though the supreme qualities of the stag were 
thus duly acknowledged, the triumph over the hare seems from 
very early times to have been considered the prime test of a 
huntsman's quality. ' We will begin with the hare,' says Twici. 
' Why, sir, will you begin with the hare, rather than with any 
other beast ? ' 'I will tell you. Because she is the most mar- 
vellous beast which is en this earth.' The study of natural history 
was then but in its infancy, and some of the properties which 
struck King Edward's ' Master of the Game ' with such astonish- 
ment will hardly surprise us very much to-day. Among other 
marvels we are told that ' at one time it is male, and at another 
lime it is female,' but whether this diversity of sex is supposed 
to belong to the individual hare, or to be a general characteristic 
of the species, is not clear. Markham thought hare-hunting 
the ' freest, readiest and most enduring pastime ; ' and Blome 
follows suit, styling it an art ' full of subtlety and craft, and 
possessed of divers delights and varieties, which other chases 
do not afford,' though he adds, ' whosoever hath hunted one 
and the same hare twice, and doth not kill her the third time. 


deserves not the name of a huntsman, for generally they use 
the same sleights, doublings and crossings.' In Shakespeare's 
immortal stanzas, of the three beasts which the love-sick 
goddess advises her flinty-hearted boy to ' uncouple at : ' 

the timorous flying hare, 
Or at the fox which lives by subtlety, 
Or at the roe which no encounter dare, 

the first is evidently the chase the poet knew best, though from 
his compassionate epithets he seems, like a later bard, to have 
thought it but a ' poor triumph.' Thomson, as we know, held 
this opinion, and urged the ' sylvan youth ' of Britain, since 
such noble prey as ' the roused-up lion,' or the 'grim wolf,' or 
the ' blinded boar,' are not for them, to direct their energies 
against the fox. 

Your sportive fury, pitiless, to pout 
Loose on the nightly robber of the fold : 
Him, from his craggy winding haunts unearth'd, 
Let all the thunder of the chase pursue. 
Throw the broad ditch behind you ; o'er the hedge 
High bound, resistless ; nor the deep morass 
Refuse, but through the shaking wilderness 
Pick your nice way ; into the perilous flood 
Bear fearless, of the raging instinct full ; 
And as you ride the torrent, to the banks 
Your triumph sound sonorous, running round, 
From rock to rock, in circling echoes toss'd ; 
Then scale the mountains to their woody tops ; 
Rush down the dangerous steep ; and o'er the lawn 
In fancy swallowing up the space between, 
Pour all your speed into the rapid game ; 
For happy he who tops the wheeling chase ; 
Has every maze evolved, and every guile 
Disclosed ; who knows the merits of the pack \ 
Who saw the villain seized, and dying hard, 
Without complaint, though by a hundred mouths 
Relentless torn : O glorious he, beyond 
His daring peers ! 


Beckford, too, was evidently of the same mind with 
Thomson. 'By inclination,' he says, 'I was never a hare- 
hunter. I followed this diversion more for air and exercise 
than for amusement ; and if I could have persuaded myself to 
ride on the turnpike-road to the three-mile stone, and back 
again, I should have thought I had no need of a pack of 
harriers.' He adds, however, with his wonted respect for every 
legitimate form of hunting, that he speaks only of the country 
where he lives, where ' the hare-hunting is so bad, that, did you 
know it, your wonder would be how I could have persevered in 
it so long, not that I should forsake it now.' On the other 
hand, John Smallman Gardiner, Gent., whose letters have been 
already mentioned, has scarce words enough to express his 
admiration of the hare as an object of chase, and his contempt 
for the fox. He allows, indeed, that it ' would be imprudent to 
declaim against other people's diversions to enhance the satis- 
faction found in mine ; ' yet he does declaim, and pretty 
vigorously, though his objections seem to be much of a nature 
with those which a certain Etonian of a past generation found 
against football, that it was too rough and violent to take rank 
as a ' gentlemanly ' game ! This is what he says : ' A lover of 
hunting almost every man is, or would be thought ; but twenty 
in the field after an hare find more delight and sincere enjoy- 
ment than one in twenty in a fox-chase, the former consisting 
of an endless variety of accidental delights, the latter little more 
than hard riding, the pleasure of clearing some dangerous leap, 
the pride of bestriding the best nag, and showing somewhat of 
the bold horseman ; and (equal to anything) of being first in at 
the death, after a chase frequently from county to county, and 
perhaps above half the way out of sight or hearing of the 
hounds. So that, but for the name of fox hunting, a man 
might as well mount at his stable-door, and determine to gallop 
twenty miles an end into another county.' This is a view of 
fox-hunting that has been accepted since Mr. Gardiner's day 
by many less inclined to go along with him in his objections to 
the hard riding part of it, if there be any truth in the saying 



attributed to a noted first-flight man of our grandsires' time, who, 
' larking ' with some brother spirits back to Melton after a poor 
day's sport, exclaimed in a burst of rapture, ' What fun we 

might have, if it wasn't for these d d hounds ! ' 

It is clear that till about the middle of the last century fox- 
hunting by no means held the pride of place amongst sportsmen 
that it now holds. Despite the fox's admission into the list of 
beasts of chase, there can be no doubt that then and for long 

'Larking with some brother spirits back to Melton.' 

after he was looked on as a marauder, whose death was to be 
encouraged by any means, fair or foul. The well-known 
passage in Chaucer's 'Nun's Tale,' revealing the treacherous 
abduction of poor Chanticleer, may be cited as a case in point, 
where, by the way, the fox is called ' Dan Russet ' from his red 
or russet colour. Sterner evidence still is the speech of Oliver 
St. John, Solicitor-General, against Strafford before the House 
of Lords in 1641. 'It is true,' he said, as reported by 


Clarendon, ' that we give law to hares and deer because they 
are Beasts of Chase ; but it was never accounted either cruelty, 
or foul play, to knock foxes and wolves on the head as they 
can be found, because they are beasts of prey.' Walter Scott, 
too, it will be remembered, puts the same sentiment in the 
mouth of Roderick Dhu ; 

but, though the beast of game 
The privelege of chase may claim, 
Though space and law the stag we lend 
Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend, 
Who ever reck'd where, how, or when, 
The prowling fox was trapp'd or slain ! 

Tt is true, Twici gives directions for hunting him 'above 
ground,' which shows that he was then beginning to be re- 
garded as something better, at least, than a badger ; but much 
later writers than Twici evidently regard his chase, though 
in default of a better it may yield sport enough, as not com- 
parable to that of the stag or the hare. Markham, for ex- 
ample, who, by the way, does class poor Reynard with the 
badger, says of both that they ' are chases of a great deal lesse 
use or cunning than anie of the former,' though his reasons ' be- 
cause they are of much hotter scent, and indeed very few dogges 
but will hunt them with all egernesse,' may strike us as not 
very cogent. Blome considers the chase of the fox ' not so full 
of diversity as the hare,' and the ' Country Gentlermn ' agrees 
both with Blome and Markham. He is always mentioned as 
'the craftiest beast that is,' trusting less in his 'strength of body 
or swiftness of legs ' than in his cunning. Turberville, indeed, 
gives some very remarkable instances of his shifts to escape 
from his pursuers, which the verbal decorum of our age will not 
allow us here to reproduce. But perhaps the most striking 
illustration of our ancestors' ideas on the subject of fox-hunting 
is to be found in Cockaine, who tells us that ' every huntsman 
his part is to hew him, or backe him into the covert again when 
he offereth to breake the same.' This murderous piece of 
advice may perhaps be partly condoned by the fact that in those 


days the fox seems generally to have been hunted on foot ; 
even in Blome's time it appears from the illustrations to his book 
that the huntsman proper did not put his trust in the legs of a 

A former Lord Wilton in his ' Sports and Pursuits of the 
English,' says it was not till 1750 that hounds were entered 
solely to fox. But in his famous ' Quarterly ' article on ' The 
Chase,' ' Nimrod ' quotes a letter written to him by Lord 
Arundel, from which it appears that one of his lordship's 
ancestors kept a pack at the close of the previous century. 
They hunted both in Wiltshire and Hampshire, and remained 
in the family till 1782, when they were sold to ' the great Mr. 
Meynell,' the real father of the modern English chase. There 
must, however, have been another pack at least coeval with 
this, for some few years ago there was in the ' Field ' an 
engraving of a hunting-horn in the possession of the then 
master of the Cheshire hounds, on which was the following 
inscription : 'Thomas Boothby, Esq., Tooley Park, Leicester. 
With this horn he hunted the first pack of fox-hounds then in 
England 55 years: born 1677, died 1752.' Another authority 
gives 1730 for the year when Thomas Fownes, of Stepleton in 
Dorsetshire, kept a regular pack of fox-hounds, which were 
afterwards sold to Mr. Bowes, of Yorkshire. It is, however, very 
possible that Lord Wilton's date may be the correct one, for 
there is nothing to show that these packs were not occasion- 
ally stooped to other game than fox ; a practice which even 
Beckford, that staunch legitimist, though he does not recom- 
mend it, writes of as a possibility when foxes are unusually 
scarce. According to a memoir of the Belvoir hounds, the 
present pack can prove an uninterrupted descent from the year 
given by Lord Wilton. Seven years earlier the records of the 
Badminton kennels could show only one couple of fox-hounds, 
the rest being deer-hounds and harriers. According to ' Cecil,' 
it was not till 1762 that this famous hunt turned itself solely to 
the chase of the fox. In that year the fifth Duke, then still a 
minor, while passing Silk Wood on his way home after a poor 


day's sport, threw his hounds into covert : ' a fox was found 
which gallantly faced the open, a capital run was the result, 
which so delighted the young sportsman, that the hounds were 
forthwith steadied from deer, and encouraged to fox.' When 
the last Lord Berkeley kept hounds his country stretched from 
Bristol to Wormwood Scrubs, a distance, that is, of some 120 
miles, necessitating four separate sets of kennels ! His son, 
Grantley Berkeley, has told us he had often heard from their 
old huntsman how he had killed a fox where the flowers now 
blossom in Kensington Gardens. Nor was this lord the first 
of his name who found his sport so near London ; an earlier 
Lord Berkeley used to kennel his hounds at Charing Cross, 
and hunt in Gray's Inn Fields, and round about Islington. The 
tawny liveries still worn by the Old Berkeley Hunt are a relic 
of those days. 

Before 1750, and in many parts of the kingdom for long 
after, every country squire no doubt kept a few couple of 
hounds, and on occasions he and his neighbours would unite 
their force and so form a respectable pack. These were known 
as 'trencher hounds,' from their running loose about the place, 
and picking up their food as they best might, and 'Nimrod' 
supposes them to have been much of a piece with the large 
broken-haired Welsh harriers. A day's hunting was then in all 
probability very like that described in ' Guy Mannering,' though 
the sportsmen were stirring at even an earlier hour than Dandie 
Dinmont and his guest. For almost the only point on which we 
can really afford to be certain was the desperately early hour at 
which our fathers commenced operation, ' so soon as they could 
distinguish a stile from a gate,' says ' Nimrod.' A famous old 
sportsman, Mr. Lockley, a contemporary of Meynell's, used, 
says ' Cecil,' always to begin the account of a certain wonderful 
day's sport with, 'We breakfasted at twelve o'clock at night.' 
Men in those days did not hunt to ride, and their greatest 
pleasure was to watch their favourites drawing up to their game 
on a cold scent. We know, too, that the fox was hunted then 
as the stag is now A couple or two of steady old hounds were 


thrown in when the drag had led the pack up to the covert 
where he lay, taking his rest after his midnight rambles, and it 
was not till he was fairly on foot and away that the body of the 
pack was laid on. Both hounds and horses were slow then as 
compared with now, and the riders we may guess to have been 
much like Squire Draper, ' avoiding what was unnecessary and 
riding with judgment.' The whole affair was eminently slow no 
doubt, according to our modern notions, but still, one fancies 
the sport, as distinct from the riding, may not have been much 
the worse. In the ' Sporting Magazine ' for July 1827, there is a 
description of a pack of hounds kept by an old Essex squire who 
at the close of last century hunted the country between Col- 
chester and the sea on the Maldon side. The hounds were 
known as harriers, 'because they used to hunt the hares,' but, 
'the deep-toned blue-mottled, the dwarf fox-hound, the true- 
bred harrier, the diminutive beagle, all joined in the cry, and 
helped to supply the pot.' The general economy of the esta- 
blishment was peculiar. The hounds were kept anyhow, 
' having a butcher for one master, a baker for another, a farmer 
for a third, spreading pretty well through the village.' Whip- 
pers-in seem to have been numerous, the butcher, the baker, 
&c., each probably playing that part to his favourite hound. 
The huntsman seems to have been of a piece with the rest, 
and to have been at least as famous for his feats at table as in 
the field. Yet ' he was a capital sportsman, and could almost 
hunt a hare himself.' This picture might probably serve for 
most of the provincial packs at that time hunting in England 
whether fox or hare. 

The chase of the stag was pursued in much more orthodox 
fashion, and with far more pomp and ceremony, both from the 
nature of the animal and the fact of the sport being so much 
older and more fashionable. From a very early date the royal 
buckhounds were quartered in their present neighbourhood. 
In Henry VIII. 's reign the kennels were in Swinley, probably 
on the spot where the deer-paddocks now stand. There, too, 
in the old days lived the masters of the royal pack, and kept 


high revels according to the ' Druid ' in a house which has long 
since disappeared, but whose site he marked under the shadow 
of some noble limes hard by that where Cotterill, the present 
keeper of the paddocks, lives, as his family lived for many 
generations before him. There is a record of a wonderful 
run in the time of the second Charles from that place to 
Lord Petre's in Essex, a distance of seventy miles, the Duke 
of York being one of the few who saw the deer pulled down. 
The indefatigable ' Druid ' has unearthed too another big affair, 
from Aldermaston to Reading in the days of ' Good King 
George.' On this occasion both his Majesty's horses were done 
'to a turn,' and their rider had to make his way back to 
Windsor in a butcher's cart, chatting affably to the driver on 
crops, stock, and other such congenial topics. The present 
fashion of stag-hunting seems to have been first practised 
in this reign, and to suit King George's sober pace the custom 
of stopping the hounds seems also to have been inau- 
gurated. According to Elaine the meet was then a much more 
imposing affair than it now is. The King himself was almost 
always present, attended by his master of the horse and the 
equerries-in-waiting. The servants of the hunt wore the 
familiar scarlet and gold-laced liveries then as now, but the 
master's coat was light blue, with collars and cuffs of black 
velvet, the costume also of his Majesty, who, moreover, if a story 
told by the ' Druid ' on the authority of the late Bill Bean, of 
hard riding and facetious memory, be true, never took the field 
without a star on his breast. l There was always a great show of 
carriages and' foot-people, and apparently rather more blowing 
of horns than would chime with modern notions. The Fourth 
George patronised the stag but rarely, either as prince or king, 
though he kept up the hunt in great splendour, and penned 
with his own hand a most courtly note to Charles Davis on his 
appointment as huntsman, hoping that he would get the hounds 

1 The late Prince Consort (Albert) always wore the ribbon under his waist- 
coat out shooting. The Editor has often shot with him, and invariably sten 
it on him. 


so fast that they would ' run away from everybody,' which was 
pretty well what that excellent sportsman and rider did do. 
The Prince had been entered to fox in his father's lifetime, and 
for a few seasons hunted the Hambledon country from Moor 
Critchell, solacing himself on by days with a pack of rabbit- 
beagles, seven couples of which could ride to the meet in a 
couple of panniers. But, despite the ' Druid's ' loyalty, one 
can hardly suppose him ever to have been very keen about 
hounds. The turf suited him better than the chase ; and 
Carlton House and Brighton better, probably, than either. 

No pack of hounds in England could show a cleaner or 
more direct pedigree than could the staghounds of North 
Devonshire up to the year 1825. Exmoor was a royal hunting- 
ground in the time of the Conqueror, and from that day down 
into the present century there has always, we believe, been a 
Ranger of Exmoor holding office under the Crown. The 
history of the Devonshire hounds can be traced in a straight 
line back to the year 1598, when Hugh Pollard, Elizabeth's 
Ranger, kept a pack at Simonsbath. From that time down to 
1825 the sport flourished exceedingly under a goodly roll of 
masters, particularly under Sir Thomas Acland, the second of 
the name, and the late Lord Fortescue, who kept the hounds 
at Castle Hill in 1802 and again from 1812 to 1818. 'Those 
were glorious days,' sighs the historian of the latter's master- 
ship : ' When a good stag had been killed, the custom was for 
James Tout, the huntsman, to enter the dining-room at Castle 
Hill after dinner in full costume with his horn in his hand, and 
after he had sounded a mort, "Success to stag-hunting" was 
solemnly drunk by the assembled company in port wine.' l In 
1825 the pack was sold, but two years later another was formed, 
and, with one or two short intervals, the North Devon stag- 
hounds have continued to show what is in many ways the finest 
and most genuine sport in England. 

The twelfth Earl of Derby, great-grandfather to the present, 
also kept a pack of some note in his day, with which he 

1 See Collyns's Notes on the Chase of the Wild Red Deer. 


hunted from The Oaks, his place near Epsom from which the 
famous race takes its name. The deer were all bred at Knows- 
ley, and occasionally crossed with the Yorkshire breed of Lord 
Fitzwilliam ; they were noted for their speed and stoutness, 
and the hounds were a good match for them in both qualities. 
Pace was becoming the fashion then everywhere, and there is a 
story told of Lord Derby's huntsman summing up the praises of 
a favourite bitch by vowing that she could run four miles in less 
time than a greyhound \ The late Thomas Moreton Fitzhardinge 
Berkeley (born in 1794, died in August 1882, legally Earl of 
Berkeley, but who, out of respect to his mother's memory, never 
would assume the title) and his brother Grantley when young 
men also hunted stag with a pack kept at Cranford, the family 
seat. The brothers were the officers of the hunt, together with 
Mr. Henry Wombwell, all wearing the orange tawny livery of the 
family. The pack was given up about 1830, when Mr. Grantley 
Berkeley went to hunt the Oakley. A smart little pack was also 
kept some years ago near Leamington, and the Surrey Stag- 
hounds are of very ancient fame. But save in the West Country 
the wild stag has not been hunted in England (excepting occa- 
sionally in Windsor Forest in George III.'s time), certainly 
within this century, though in Ireland the sport has been, we 
believe, occasionally followed within more recent times, but not 
as we understand 'hunting.' It consists in driving the woods 
of Killarney and forcing the stags into the Lake, where they are 
shot or caught with ropes by the horns. Wild deer exist no- 
where else in Ireland. 

Fox hunting, as we know it now, with its pace and its hard 
riding, its sumptuousness and refinement, may be said to have 
come in with this century. Mr. Childe of Kinlet, says ' The 
Druid,' first began hard riding in Leicestershire to Mr. Mey- 
nell's great disgust, and on a half-bred Arabian, too ! When 
Lords Forester and Jersey came with the reckless style of 
riding, the good old sportsman declared that he ' had not had a 
day's happiness ; ' as he has been described as a ' regular little 
dumpling ' in the saddle, probably the new style of going was 



not much to his taste. Moreover, one of his first laws was 
never to cast his hounds so long as they would hunt ; and the 
observation of this law was clearly not compatible with hard 
riding. Whether the sport is now what it was in the days 
whose glories ' Nimrod ' has written of and Alken painted, it 
would be as ungenerous to ask as difficult to answer. If the 
stones unearthed by the untiring industry of ' The Druid ' 

' As we know it now. ' 

may all be relied on, there must have been giants indeed 
in those days ; hounds, horses, riders, and, we may add, foxes, 
must all have been marvels of their kind. ' The peaches are 
not so big now as they were in our days,' wrote Haydon to 
Wordsworth, when they two were the sole relics ' of a glorious 
band.' Yet ' Cecil ' vowed that ' where there was one good 
horseman thirty years ago (that is, in the first quarter of the 
century) there are twenty now.' The younger men of his day 


(they are the ' old men ' of ours !) rode, he thought, with better 
judgment and science than their fathers, and with quite as 
much pluck. Comparisons, however, are always odious where 
there exists no sound ground for making them. Those who 
may feel a desire to try and puzzle out one for themselves can- 
not do better than turn to the pages of ' Nimrod ' and ' The 
Druid,' where, if the question may be solved, they will find 
ample means for solving it. That Lords Jersey, Forester, and 
Delamere, Messrs. Assheton Smith and Osbaldeston, and others 
of that period were splendid riders, is undoubted. That fences 
were fewer, as is sometimes asserted, is not the case, for many 
have been thrown down. Ox fences or rails were more 
numerous, and bullfinches also ; but they did not cut and 
plaish the fences then, and they knew not the binders that 
turn horses over. They used to fly the oxers or crash through 
the bullfinch. That neither hounds nor horses went so fast 
then, is undoubted. As fewer men hunted, it was easier to get 
good horses. There was more room, not so much hurry and 
crowding ; and more pleasure. There were fine horsemen 
and good riders across country, there have also been the same 
since, and there are happily many now. For our part we have 
tried to bring the history of hunting down to the period when 
it had reached the phase familiar to us. Having done that, 
the real business of our book begins, and to the great deeds 
and the great men who did them we shall from time to lime 
find other occasions to refer. 

D a 





THE chase of the stag was considered, as we have already 
read, the most 'princely and royal chase of all chases,' and the 
animal itself of all beasts ' the goodliest, stateliest, and most 
manly.' Among modern sportsmen the fox now holds the 
pride of place, if not in personal qualities, at any rate in the 
diversion those qualities afford. Your true Devonshire stag 
hunter certainly will not allow this, and even the staunchest 
follower of the fox has been known at times to confess that for 
thorough genuine sport there are few things to compare with a 
gallop after a 'warrantable' stag at the stern of the North 
Devon hounds, and not many things harder than to keep in 
that place ! The field sport that has stood the test of public 
criticism through a period of from three to five hundred years 
may surely assert its claim to the title of a national pastime. 

Stag hunting, as everyone knows, has existed from time 
immemorial; but whether it was conducted in precisely the 
same manner as it is at present, until the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth, is very doubtful. Historical records prove conclu- 
sively that there was, kennelled at Simonsbath, in this reign, 
a pack of staghounds, which hunted the red deer on the 
Exmoors on a system similar to that now in vogue. It is not, 
perhaps, too much to hope, that while English noblemen, 
gentlemen, yeomen, and farmers retain their profound love of 
field sports, there will be, at some convenient centre on the 
moorland range, a pack of staghounds as efficient in every 


respect as that now under the deservedly popular heir of the 
House of Fortescue, whose history furnishes a long list of 
ardent supporters of the sport. That the ardour of the stag 
hunter is incapable of being quenched by the devotion of a 
lifetime will be readily admitted by those who have shared the 
pleasures, excitements, and dangers of the chase with the many 
veteran local sportsmen over whose shoulders nearly fourscore 
years have passed harmlessly. 

Nothing, perhaps, strikes the stranger, on his first visit to 
this historic hunting ground more than the enthusiasm for the 
sport displayed by men of all ages and all classes of the 
community. If he should be indiscreet enough to compare 
the merits of stag hunting with those of fox hunting, his re- 
marks will invariably meet with unveiled disapproval, coupled 
with an oppressive load of commiseration. 

It is possible that stag hunting on the Exmoors and Quan- 
tocks derives some of its fascination from their unique wildness 
and picturesqueness. On emerging from the fertile Somerset- 
shire valleys and sheltered Devonshire ' coombes ' and reaching 
the Exmoors, the vast expanse of heather-clad moorland, with 
its richly wooded ravines, stretching far away to the Bristol 
Channel, is, as if by magic, brought within one's vievr ; and as 
the sportsman canters briskly towards the far-famed Dunkery 
Beacon, the romantic beauty of the surroundings, together with 
the influence of the crisp mountain air, enables him readily to 
understand the native stag hunter's enthusiasm. As he winds 
his way to Cloutsham, and views, at about a mile distant, four 
or five hinds, attended by their antlered lord, cantering up 
a steep hillside, with their nostrils expanded and elevated, 
expelling their heated breath, like curls of smoke from cottage 
chimneys, he is fain to admit that no nobler quarry could be 

In no other district of the British Isles can the sport of 
hunting the wild Red Deer be enjoyed in the same perfection as 
it is on the Exmoor. Therefore, we shall offer no apology for 
referring to the methods practised in this district. 


In the case of stag hunting, as in that of every other sport, 
it is above all things necessary that they who undertake the 
management of a pack of hounds should have a general know- 
ledge of the nature and habits of the animal to be hunted. 

Without this knowledge the most vigorous and sustained 
efforts will surely end in failure and vexation, because it 
would be impossible to out- manoeuvre the many stratagems 
that the Red Deer will invariably adopt for outwitting his 
pursuers. It is a vexed question, but a wholly unimportant 
one to all persons except naturalists, whether the Red Deer 
is a native of the British Islands. But that he is a tolerably old 

Four or five hinds, attended by their antlered 
lord, cantering up a hillside.' 

and valued friend of na 
tive sportsmen, historical 
records of the date of 
the Norman Conquest 
clearly establish. More- 
over, these leave us in 
no doubt about the 

position of supremacy accorded him by kings, lawmakers, and 
historians, as well as sportsmen, over all other beasts of the 
forest. During the four succeeding centuries the heaviest penal- 
ties were inflicted upon persons who killed or in any way injured 
a stag which had made good his escape after being hunted by 
the king or queen. On such an incident occurring, a royal 
proclamation was posted in all the adjoining hamlets and 


villages warning all persons against killing or injuring him ; and 
he was placed under the surveillance of the harbourer, whose 
special business it was to safeguard the exhausted animal until 
its return to the forest was effected. It would be well if the 
same chivalrous spirit towards animals that have ministered to 
our cravings for sport prevailed more generally in the present 
unsentimental age. 

The colour of the Red Deer is for the most part a reddish 
brown ; while from the tail, or, as it is technically termed, ' the 
single,' underneath the body the colour becomes much lighter. 
Strangely enough, the calves, up to their fifth or sixth month, 
bear a very close resemblance in colour to the Fallow Deer. 

The Red Deer has ever been known by his horns, which 
differ very materially from those of all other kinds of deer. 
The horns, or, to use the technical term, ' the head,' consists 
of a beam, from which points or processes project. The num- 
ber of these points or antlers determine his age. The yearling 
deer has no horns, but at two years old a short spire is thrown 
out. This lengthens, and from its base, at the completion of 
his third year, projects horizontally towards the front, the 
' brow antler.' At four years old the horns increase to nearly 
eighteen inches in length, and another process, termed the 
bay antler, is formed. At five years the tray antler is thrown 
out, and two points appear on the top of one horn. At six 
years old there are two points on each horn. At seven years, 
one horn has three points and the other two. At eight years, 
the stag will have three points on each horn. When hunting, 
the expression ' two on top ' and ' three on top ' will be used to 
signify that the stag is seven and eight years old, as the case 
may be. After the latter age, the changes of the head are 
slight, though naturally, as the age increases, it becomes wider 
in its spread. 

It is customary to speak of a stag by the total number of his 
' rights ' brow, bay, and tray antlers, and by that of his ' points.' 
Thus, at six years old, he will be ' a stag of ten ; ' that is to say, 
he will have two brow antlers, two bay antlers, two tray antlers, 


and two poincs of each horn ; while at eight years old he will 
be 'a stag of twelve.' 

Dr. Palk Collyns, in his excellent work on ' Stag Hunting on 
the Exmoors,' states that he has seen as many as seven points 
on the top of a very old stag's horn ; and that an old stag, long 
known as the Badgeworthy Deer, had seven on the top of one 
horn, and six on the other, when killed on September 8, 1786. 
He would be called a stag of nineteen points. This intelligent 
observer gives as his opinion that after a stag has passed his 
prime, the horns decrease in size and form until the horn 
deteriorates, and nothing but an upright or single spire, like 
that appearing in the three-year-old deer, is visible. 

Before leaving the subject of the horns, it may be well to 
make a passing allusion to the marvellous and almost mere* 
dible powers of reproduction of horn with which deer are en- 
dowed. They shed their horns annually in the spring seldom 
after May. When the period of shedding approaches, they 
leave the open, and remain in the covers until the formation of 
new horn begins. In about sixteen weeks the magnificent pair 
of horns (weighing about fourteen pounds) will be replaced. 

As may be readily imagined, during the growth of the horn 
excessive pain, accompanied by bleeding, would be caused by 
a blow from a branch of a tree, or other hard substance ; and 
consequently deer will, at this time, avoid coppice and thicket 
and confine themselves to woods or plantations which present 
fewer objects of danger. That this period is one of pain and 
suffering to the stag is very evident, for in addition to the 
occasional blow he can hardly avoid, flies keep him in a state 
of continual torment. 

The famous Dr. Bell thus describes the process of renew* 
ing the horn : 

' The growth of the horn is an astonishing instance of the 
rapidity of production of bone under particular circumstances, 
and unparalleled in its extent in so short a period. During its 
growth the branches of the external carotid arteries, which 
lend their assistance in the formation, are considerably enlarged 


for the purpose of carrying the great flow of blood required 
for the production of the bone. It extends by means of the 
velvet (a plexus of blood-vessels) all over the external parts of 
the horn ; it is quite soft and highly vascular, so that the 
slightest injury causes blood to flow freely, and the horn, when 
this occurs, to be imperfectly developed.' 

The hind is mated in her second year, and seldom gives 
birth to more than one calf at a time. The rutting season 
begins in October ; and, as the period of gestation is nine 
months, the calves will be dropped in June. 

It is clear, therefore, that stag hunting should be discon- 
tinued before the rutting season commences ; and that, to 
avoid the commission of unsportsmanlike conduct, the season 
for hunting stags should not be carried beyond the first week of 

A period of three or four weeks ought then to be allowed 
to elapse before hunting the hinds, that they may be left free 
to enjoy the society of their lords. The practice on the Ex- 
moors is to begin stag hunting in the second week of August, 
and to bring it to a close in the first week of October ; to begin 
hind hunting at the end of October, and to carry on the sport, 
weather permitting, until April. Perhaps the most important 
office in connection with a stag-hunting establishment is that of 
the harbourer, for on the industry, care, and experience which 
he brings to bear upon the discharge of his duties, the sport 
will very largely depend. Nothing can be more vexatious to a 
huntsman, master, and field than to receive false information 
with regard to the ' harbour ' of a deer, and to be driven in 
consequence to the necessity of drawing at a venture for hours 
before a ' warrantable ' deer is roused. Such an unworkman- 
like pursuit of sport is a sad trial to the patience of hunts- 
man, hounds, and field, and ought not to be often repeated. 

The harbourer ought to be a man of active habits, keen 
sight and observation, and possessed of a thorough knowledge 
of the habits of the deer. We will suppose that it is desired 
to harbour a stag in any particular cover. The harbourer 


should take up a convenient position at least an hour before 
daybreak. The choice of position is most important, and 
should be determined by the circumstances of the case. If 
the cover should have, on its outskirts, a field of turnips, a 
field of oats, a meadow, or other tempting feeding ground, the 
position taken up ought to command as much of it as possible. 
Some harbourers prefer climbing a tree, while others incline to 
secreting themselves in a ditch for the purpose of making 

We will suppose that the harbourer is desirous of harbour- 
ing a deer for the next morning in a wood of 100 acres, 
covering a ravine, whose two slopes, running north and south, 
are separated by a rapid stream, and whose ridges are bounded 
by a vast expanse of moorland. On the south side, about 
half a mile down stream, there is feeding ground, consisting of 
a field of turnips ; a small inclosure partly covered with oats 
and partly by old grass and rushes. 

This will prove difficult ground to survey. But the 
harbourer must do his best. He goes to bed early that he 
may not oversleep himself ; but he cannot sleep for thinking 
of to-morrow's work. The wind appeared unsteady over-night, 
and his plan of approach may have to be altered. He must 
not go down wind, for he may, by coughing or tripping 
over a stone, and ejaculating compliments to nature, arouse 
the alarm of the ever vigilant stag, whose exquisite scent- 
ing powers would confirm them. The harbourer goes men- 
tally over the ground, again and again ; surveys every path, 
every little ridge, every tree, every point of vantage ; and 
having exhausted each alternative that gives promise of an 
unobserved approach, he falls asleep for an hour or two, 
and then wakes with a start, impressed with a sense of fear 
that daylight will be upon him before he can take up his 
position. Very few minutes are devoted to his toilette. He 
goes hurriedly downstairs, throws open the cupboard, cuts off 
a crust of bread, which he stuffs into his pocket, and goes 
straight to the shed, in which is an old pony, quite a local 


celebrity, who knows what he will be required to do, and is 
prepared to do it. 

The pony, saddled and bridled, is guided, at a shogging 
trot, to a point about two miles north of the ravine, for there 
is a sharp breeze blowing from the south-west. A well-known 
ford is crossed, and the pony is struggling up the precipitous 
sheep-walk under his rider, rendered heavier by the weight of 
care, which has made him unmindful of the place in which he 
ought to sit on the saddle. 

The summit of the ravine reached, a wide detour is made. 
The pony is eased of his burden, and is turned into a small 
moorland inclosure, about half a mile from the south-eastern 
corner of the wood. The harbcurer walks briskly to within 
two hundred yards of the wood, then pauses. The wind is 
blowing straight in his face so far well. But the ground is 
exposed between the wood and the feeding ground only small 
clumps of firs here and there breaking the view. No risk 
must be run. So he beats a retreat, in a south-easterly direc- 
tion, until level with a clump of firs, from which he knows he 
can command the feeding ground. He walks as noiselessly as 
possible, straight up wind. His heart sinks ! There are nothing 
but fir trees and he cannot climb them. Happily a few paces 
off in the open is a stunted oak. This will do. He at once 
throws himself on his face and wriggles on his chest to the 
oak tree, not attempting to raise his head until he has swung 
round, and the trunk of the tree hides the ravine from his view. 

Now he can rise with safety, for he knows that the deer can 
neither see nor wind him. He climbs the tree with the 
stealth of a panther, taking care not to put his feet on any 
doubtful branch that might break and scare the deer. Having 
reached a convenient fork from which can be obtained a full view 
of the southern entrance to the ravine, and the intermediate 
space covered with brushwood, leading up to the feeding 
ground, the period of unbroken watching begins. 

A drenching shower shortly succeeds the break of day. 
But it will not do to descend for shelter. Where he is, there 


he must remain whatever may happen ; and there he does 
stay, till he is soaked to the skin. A keen wind rises, and 
sends a chill through his weather-beaten frame. What shall he 
do ? He certainly can eat his crust of bread. He will. One 
bile is all he can take. Two magpies and a jay are flitting 
about over the centre of the western slope of the ravine. His 
heart throbs until he fears that the deer will hear its pulsations, 
for he knows that something is moving. 

The birds fly from tree to tree southwards, chattering to 
one another. 

There is a pause : the sound of the birds ceases. He 
strains his eyes in all directions, but can see nothing. The 
crust of bread is again produced, now well sodden and coat 
stained, yet his palate is not insulted by its condition and 
miscellaneous flavour. He is evidently superior to the ordi- 
nary trials of life. His patience is inexhaustible, but he has 
fears that he will not ' harbour ' a stag this morning. 

Presently, he observes that the magpies are once more on 
the alert, this time flitting straight up the ravine. What can 
this mean ? There is no feeding ground that way. He feels 
sure that if the deer are on foot, they will come back. 

But they don't, and the birds take wing up the western 
slope of the ravine, until lost to view. This seems to denote 
that the deer will take the open, and come by a circuitous 
route to the feeding ground. And surely enough, there they 
come over the moorland, but sinking behind a ridge are in a 
moment completely hidden. The harbourer sees no more of 
them. Presently he hears a human voice coming from the 
direction of the feeding ground. It is the voice of a boy 
driving a horse. If the tree on which our friend is sitting 
were struck by lightning, he could not have been more be- 

' What brings he here this time o' the morning, I wonder ? ' 
falls involuntarily from his lips. But he knows better than to 
descend from his perch for the purpose of inquiring. 

He is keeping his eyes fixed upon the point where he last 


viewed the deer. Presently he observes them, only for a 
second, cantering back in the same direction from whence they 
came, but he cannot distinguish them. Nothing daunted, he 
will not leave his post until half-past nine o'clock. Cramped, 
cold, and not a little disappointed, he climbs down and walks 
briskly off to the feeding ground. He does not enter it at 
once, but examines the fences and their approaches with 
scrupulous care. Everything is against him ; the ground has 
been so hard for the past month that no mark of a slot can be 
detected. But he has other resources at his command. 

He first enters the oat and grass inclosure, but no deer 
have been there. He then explores the turnip field, and this 
reveals to him the cause of the boy's visit. A load of turnips 
has been carted away from the part next the gate. No sign of 
damage done by the deer is discernible here. However, he 
strolls on hopefully, examining every turnip, until his eyes rest 
on a patch of ground strewed with turnips lying with their roots 

A glow of triumph lights up his face, for he knows that a 
stag did this. Yes ; there are his marks ! Every turnip bitten 
once, and once only. No hind has worked such purposeless 

The rain will have rendered the ground soft enough to make 
the stag's slot sufficiently clear to a vision as acute as his. So 
he hurries off to the inclosure, where he left the pony some 
five hours ago, and, having mounted, jogs off to the ford, 
which he crossed in the early morning. 

There a circuit of the western slope of the ravine is made. 
Every path and piece of turf is minutely examined, without 
revealing the much-wished-for confirmation of the evidence in 
the turnip field until the point where he had viewed the deer is 

Here the slots are distinct ; but further search has to be 
made before the slot of a stag is discovered. There it is, 
broad at the heels and blunt at the toes ! It is quite fresh and 
deeper than the slots of his companions. ' He is a big, heavy 


varmint, or he would not push his feet that fur into the land ! ' 
is the only remark. The slot, however, is deciphered with ease 
to the south-west corner of the ravine. Off goes the harbourer 
to his cottage, determined to come again on the following 
morning, and to pursue the same tactics as he did to-day. To- 
morrow's dawn finds him on his perch once more, and before 
5 A.M. he sees the stag with all his rights and ' four on top ' 
emerge from the same point of the ravine, attended by half a 
dozen companions of various ages, and renew his depredations 
in the turnip field. Not content with this, he waits patiently 
until he has safely harboured the stag in the western slope as 

The harbourer returns home quite confident that, if the 
wood is not disturbed, the stag with his ' rights and four on 
top ' will be roused when the tufters are put m by Arthur on the 
next day. 

This description of the harbourer's work may seem some- 
what trite, as in truth it is ; but, like many other undertakings 
that are easier of description than execution, it will tax to the 
utmost the patience and skill of the shrewdest expert. 

We have frequently heard persons, whose knowledge of the 
sport is very limited, express the opinion that any gamekeeper 
has sufficient knowledge and powers of observation to harbour 
a stag. Our experiences of the ability of the majority of game- 
keepers to discharge the duties of a harbourer certainly do not 
confirm this opinion. A case in point, still fresh in our 
memory, occurred some years ago. A gamekeeper asserted that 
' he had harboured a stag with three on top ' in a plantation, 
and that ' he saw him most days.' True enough he had 
seen the stag enter the plantation on several occasions after 
feeding, and had marked the spot exactly. The tufters were 
thrown in, and drew the cover, while everyone was in a 
state of breathless excitement, in the expectation of hearing 
' Romeo ' speak to him. Not a bit of it ! The keeper was 
interrogated, and stoutly maintained that 'the stag must be 
there, for he had never seen him come out.' 


The huntsman soon explained the matter. The stag had 
gone into the cover, but had gone out on the opposite side ; and, 
indeed, as it was afterwards proved, had never harboured there 
at all, but some four miles off! Such a blunder, due to a 
mixture of ignorance and carelessness, would never have 
occurred had an expert been employed. But the great difficulty 
in these days lies not in finding a stag, but in killing him. The 
class of hound best fitted for hunting deer en the Exmoors is 
very difficult to procure. 

We are of opinion that it would be well nigh impossible to 
breed, in any establishment, a pack of hounds of sufficient size 
and speed, though the most matured judgment should be 
brought to bear on the undertaking. The desired height is 
twenty-five inches, and is, therefore, probably one and a half 
inches above that of the ordinary foxhound. Consequently it 
is better not to attempt to breed a pack of hounds, but to de- 
pend on drafts of oversized hounds from the best foxhound 
kennels in the country. Even with such a prolific source to 
draw upon it is very difficult to maintain the strength of the 

The reason why hounds of twenty-five inches are required 
is apparent to anyone who has seen a pack on the Exmoors, 
where the length of the heather sorely hinders the work of 
hounds that do not stand well over it. Nor is it enough that the 
hound should have height ; he must be well put together, more 
particularly as to his ieet and shoulders. Heavy-shouldered 
hounds very soon become crippled, however good their legs and 
feet may be, by racing down the precipitous hills and ravines 
that abound on the Exmoors. It will not do to take hounds 
that have been entered at any other quarry, consequently 
young drafts must be obtained. 

Much trouble is occasioned in breaking the pack from 
riot. Many persons who have hunted in this district during 
the greater part of their lives maintain that the tendency of the 
pack to kill sheep is in a measure due to the scent of the moor- 
land sheep being similar to that of the deer. Without being a 


believer in this theory, we are convinced that the scent of the 
moorland sheep differs considerably from that of the ordinary 
sheep kept in the inclosed country. Then the temptations in 
the case of the moorland sheep are far greater ; for hounds, 
when they are quite out of the reach and observation of the 
huntsman, frequently come upon a single sheep, in the middle 
of a wood, at the exact spot passed by the hunted deer. Con- 
sequently all entries, as soon after their arrival at the kennels as 
possible, must be thoroughly broken from sheep, and entered 
and blooded at deer. The best method of breaking puppies 
from sheep is to take them out, coupled to old hounds, and 
exercise them on parts of the moor where sheep are kept in 
large numbers. If, during exercise, any of the puppies should 
make an attempt to run at a sheep, he should be approached 
stealthily and hit sharply with the whip, after which he should 
be rated severely. If this practice be continued until July, 
when the puppies should be entered at deer and blooded, they 
will not give much trouble. 

The wear and tear to a pack of hounds hunting on the 
Exmoors are very great. Not only have the hounds to go 
long distances to and from the meets, and to endure the strain 
of prolonged runs over very hard ground, but they have also to 
leave their kennels for some days at a time in order that they 
may hunt a distant part of the country. When kennelled in a 
barn or other suitable building, biscuits must take the place of 
oatmeal, since it is next to impossible to take the necessary 
appliances for making pudding. The result of this change of 
diet is very prejudicial to the condition of the hounds, who 
return to their kennels with their muscles wasted and their 
coats dry. In all respects the kennel management of stag- 
hounds is the same as that in vogue in the best foxhound 
kennels. The hour of feeding hounds on the day previous to 
hunting has long been a vexed question. But the weight of 
evidence is decidedly in favour of eight o'clock in the morning, 
the hour at which the Exford pack is fed. 

There is also considerable difference of opinion in relation 


to the number of hounds which should be brought into the 
field. We do not think that any hard and fast rule can be laid 
down on this point, because the numerical strength of the pack 
must be determined by the nature of the country to be hunted. 
It is, however, safe to take the mean of eighteen and twenty- 
four couples. There can be no question that of all the 
animals hunted in this country, the stag leaves behind him 
the most lasting scent. We have not unfrequently noticed the 
pack carrying a good head at a racing pace, for a mile or two, 
quite a gunshot wide of the line taken by the stag. Indeed 
so marvellous was the diffusion of scent that on several 
occasions we were induced to believe that there must be a 
double line ; and it was only after a minute examination of the 
exact line run by the hounds that we were convinced that no 
deer had taken it. 

It must not be inferred from this that it was a matter of 
no difficulty to run down a deer ; for such is his cunning 
and stratagem that he will, very frequently, though handi- 
capped by a burning scent, out-manceuvre and elude the 
most experienced huntsmen and the closest hunting pack of 

As all deer will take the water, or 'soil,' as it is technically 
termed, as often as opportunity occurs, the hounds must be 
able to hunt on a cold scent. It is also absolutely necessary 
that they should be under perfect command, for the many 
incidents of a run, to be dealt with effectively, require great 
steadiness. When a stag ' takes soil,' the pack must be 'divided 
and cast up or down, as the case may be, both banks of the river 
or stream. 

When the hunted stag ' runs to herd/ pushes up another 
deer, and lies close, it is all-important that the hounds be 
brought back immediately. 

This operation is often a matter of extreme difficulty, for 
the stratagem, in nine cases out of ten, is practised in a large 
woodland, where the working of the hounds is continually 
hidden from the observation of the huntsman. An old trusted 



hound, standing still and declining to join the others, is a sign 
that the pack have changed to afresh deer. 

Moreover, it frequently happens that the deer that has been 
pushed up goes away in view of the hounds, which, at such a 
period of a run, are particularly eager for blood and intolerant 
of restraint. 

The choice of tufters is important ; for, upon their fit- 
ness for the work of rousing and separating the stag from 
the herd, the sport of the season depends. Of course old 
and trusty hounds must be selected. But tufters must be 
possessed of unusual quickness, handiness, and patience, or 
delays fatal to sport will be occasioned. When the wrong 
animal either a calf, hind, or ' broket ' has been roused, 
and has been driven hard by the tufters for perhaps half an 
hour or more before the sex or age of the quarry is discovered, 
it is a great trial to the temper of hounds to be whipped off, and 
required to begin their work de novo. If, therefore, there 
should be any suspicion of sulkiness or want of perseverance 
in a hound he should not be used as a tufter. 

As to the number of tufters to be used, no precise directions 
can be given, because the number must be determined by the 
size of the cover or the area of open ground that the tufters 
will be required to draw. If the cover be of moderate size, 
that is to say, under fifty acres, four tufters would be sufficient. 
But in the case of a large cover, or vast expanse of moorland, 
two couples would be wholly insufficient, for they might draw 
all day without rousing a deer, though they might approach 
within fifty yards of his lair. Probably the number of tufters 
should not in any case be less than four nor more than twelve. 
In the event of the latter number being used, the huntsman 
and whip should be especially vigilant ; and if the services of 
one or two amateur aides-de-camp can be obtained, the chances 
of hounds separating, and hunting three or four lines, will be 
materially lessened. 

It is not often that an old stag hunter, if he should have but 
one horse out, will discount his prospects of taking a forward 


place in the run proper, by getting to the bottom of his horse 
through keeping the tufters together, so that special arrange- 
ments should be made by the master to provide the necessary 
additional aid to the huntsman. 

Considerable judgment is required in selecting head- 
quarters for the pack. A barn or some convenient part of a farm 
homestead generally affords all the accommodation required. 
But such homesteads as are accessible only at one or two points 
are unfit for the purpose ; since, if the tufters should run their 
deer into the open on the side of the farm buildings to which 
there is not a ready access, a serious waste of time must be 
occasioned in bringing the pack to the point where the tufters 
were stopped. 

When once deer take the open their habit is to move on, 
whether pursued closely or not, until they take soil, or run to 
herd in a cover. It is perfectly evident, therefore, that nothing 
can compensate for a want of smartness in bringing the pack to 
the huntsman. If the pack should be, as it ought to be when 
the tufters are at work, left under the direction of the master, his 
second horseman should be told off to keep the huntsman in 
view, so as to be ready to gallop back to his master imme- 
diately the tufters are stopped,- or when the huntsman signals for 
the pack. It is surprising with what dash staghounds when 
liberated will race to meet the huntsman. The reason of 
their liberation is very soon grasped by every hound in the pack, 
so that the services of the whipper-in are not much needed. 
It cannot be pointed out too frequently that unless the hunts- 
man is a man of experience, dash, nerve, and is thoroughly 
acquainted with the habits of deer, he will fail to show good 
sport on the Exmoors whatever his merits may be in the ken- 
nel and saddle. Staghounds cannot be hunted on the 'let 
alone ' principle, which would mean ' a rest-and-be-thankful ' 
existence for the deer. When the pack reaches the huntsman, 
he should clap them on the line and drive them, so long as they 
are on the line, as fast as his horse can carry him. By this 
method he may succeed in driving them till they get on good 


terms with their quarry. To attempt to crawl down a stag, 
unless he be very fat and heavy, is to attempt an impossibility. 
Staghounds at fault ought not to be lifted to a distant halloo 
unless the huntsman has good reason for depending upon it ; 
for if a mistake should be made, and hounds laid on a fresh 
line, neither deer will be accounted for. Such blunders will 
surely promote an incurable slackness, for the very best hounds 
will not bear being deceived frequently. If they cannot own 
the line, little or no harm can arise from their being lifted as 
far as the huntsman may think fit for the purpose of recovering 
it. When the stag is brought to bay, old hounds will not attack 
him. They appear to know perfectly well that the coup de grace 
will be delivered by human hands, and that when they have 
run him to bay their work is done. 

The intelligence of the staghound is proportionate to his 
scenting powers. It is difficult to believe that in the excite- 
ment of the chase he is able to distinguish by his nose be- 
tween a hind and a stag, and between an old deer and a young 
one. Nevertheless, during a single season he frequently de- 
monstrates his ability to do so. 

As the climate of the Exmoor is very severe during the 
winter and spring, and as the habit of the deer to ' take soil ' 
at all seasons of the year is universal, and entails upon the 
hounds frequent immersion, the temperature of the kennel 
lodging-room may be raised by artificial means, which the 
stove in the boiling-house will economically supply. 1 That 
huntsmen, like poets, 'are bom and not made,' is a maxim 
that few sportsmen will have the temerity to dispute. A good 
training will undoubtedly give a man a knowledge of the most 
approved system of handling a pack of hounds; but it will 
never take the place of that venatic instinct with which some 
men are endowed. 

1 Some authorities think that this system produces rheumatism in hounds, 
and is ther- fore to he avoided to souse them well in warm water when they 
are taken home, and rub them dry with a horsehair glove, is the better plan. 
Artificial heat is only necessary if they have been swimming about in cold 


The good fortune that has attended the packs of staghounds 
kept on the Exmoors during the last thirty years in regard to 
the ability of their huntsmen is very remarkable. Most of us 
are inclined to compare things of the present unfavourably 
with those of the past ; and this inclination is almost universal 
when questions connected with hunting are under discussion 
It is, however, very doubtful if a veteran stag hunter could be 
found in Devon or Somerset who could be induced to assert 
that a more able exponent of the art of stag hunting than the 
present huntsman, Arthur Heal, ever carried the horn on the 
Exmoors. If anyone is desirous of observing a practical 
demonstration of the oest methods of surmounting the many 
difficulties and emergencies with which a huntsman has to deal, 
he should pay a visit to Exford as soon as may be after the 
middle of August. That Heal has succeeded in making his, 
hounds very handy under all circumstances without having 
subjected them to that severity of treatment considered by 
some huntsmen to be essential, entitles his system in the 
kennel and the field to the approval of all lovers of sport and 
of the hounds that furnish it. 

Being a light weight, a good horseman, and having a 
thorough knowledge of the country, he scarcely ever loses 
touch of his hounds. Consequently, they can seldom divide 
or run riot without his knowledge. He rarely loses any of his 
hounds for more than three or four days at a time, owing to 
the excellent practice of exercising the pack on the moors, 
with every road to and from which they become well acquainted ; 
so that, if separated from the pack through lameness or other 
accidental causes, they are able to find their way to the 

All the local supporters of the Hunt are exhorted not to 
' harbour ' any lost hound that may honour them with a visit, 
but to expel him from their doors with as much force as may 
be necessary. This system averts an infinite amount of trouble, 
anxiety, and expense, and renders that loitering and loafing 
propensity, so strong in some hounds, utterly unprofitable. 


The main cause of absence of hounds from ' the roll call ' 
after hunting is that they have roused a calf, run into it, and 
regaled themselves on its carcase. If this is of tolerable size 
it will last the truants three or four days ; and until the last 
morsel has been devoured they are not to be tempted, even by 
visions of Arthur's appetising pudding, to return to their kennels. 

The habit of staghounds under these circumstances is pecu- 
liar. After satisfying their hunger to the full on the carcase 
they do not, as one would suppose, lie close to it and guard it 
against plunderers ; but they ' lie up,' generally as much as two 
or three gunshots away from it. Probably this habit had its 
origin in a desire to avoid detection ; for, when hounds are 
surprised during the period of feasting they are particularly 
shy, and averse to the approach of any human being. 

It will be readily apprehended after what has been said that 
it would be as fatal to the good conduct of the pack as to 
sport to bring out more than four or five couples of young 
hounds at a time, since it would be impossible to keep a larger 
number with the pack. 

The duties of the whipper-in are very different from those 
of a whipper-in to foxhounds. The latter has principally to 
confine himself to the work of preventing riot, assisting the 
huntsman, verifying halloos, &c., while the former must fre- 
quently be separated a mile or two from the huntsman. He 
must take up positions from whence he can see whether the 
right or the wrong animal is hunted ; and he must frequently 
maintain communications with the huntsman by means of 

If hounds cross one of the many precipitous ravines to 
be found in the country he must not cross till he has viewed 
them away on the other side, for if the deer should soil 
in the bottom of the ravine, as will probably be the case, or 
break cover on the opposite side and head back again, he 
would most probably come back in the teeth of the whipper-in, 
who would be in a position to ascertain his exact condition, 
the probable duration of the run, and the point for which he 


was making. Moreover, the whipper-in could go on with the 
hounds in the event of their having outpaced the huntsman. 
The office of a whipper-in is a very important one, and if he 
is really fond of the sport, his opportunities of observation ought 
to enable him to act the part of huntsman with success. 

It is quite necessary that the huntsman and whipper-in to a 
pack of staghounds should have two horses out, for it is im- 
possible that any man can do his work efficiently on a day of 
average sport with one horse, however stout the animal may 
be. Speed, as has been before asserted, is an essential attribute 
of the staghound. It is no less so of the hunter. If hounds 
are fast, horses must be fast. But, on the Exmoors, this maxim 
is so universally accepted that there need be no fear of a good 
local sportsman, like Lord Ebrington, mounting his men on 
horses that are deficient in speed or stoutness. In fact, one 
week's experience on the moors would be sufficient to convince 
anyone capable of forming a reasonable judgment that horses of 
high quality are indispensable factors in a stag-hunting establish- 
ment. Much care ought to be exercised in the selection of 
horses with long clean shoulders, short backs, and very hard 
and sound feet ; for if they are not properly constructed in 
these points they cannot go up and down hill, and over rough, 
rocky ground, at the necessary speed. 

We must now break off, and make the best of our way to 
the meet at Cloutsham, or we shall not be able to give an 
account of the doings of the redoubtable Arthur and his pack 
on this second day of October. The second horsemen, aware 
that no time is to be lost, are jogging over Exford Bridge, 
having a vivid recollection of the long and steep hill that has 
to be climbed before the moorland ridge is reached, so we 
shall follow them until the hounds overtake us. Every promise 
of sport is present A soft and somewhat damp breeze is 
coming from the east, but there is yet no sign of fog or rain. 
The heather is at its best. It is true that the bloom has 
partly fallen, but the delicate colouring of what remains lends 
a rare attractiveness to the scene. Coming from all quarters 


are men in hunting costume, mounted on wiry, tough-looking 
little horses, that seem hardly up to their riders' weights, which, 
it must be admitted, testify to the good fare provided for their 
lords by the Devon and Somerset housewives. 

So far all the early arrivals are worthy representatives of the 
classes of yeomen and tenant farmers ; classes that, we trust, 
will ever be represented at the cover side, where their ruddy 
cheery faces and frank and independent manners contrast 
agreeably with the blanched skin and reserved demeanour of 
the visitors who have arrived in their tens to put the finish on 
their sporting education, to restore their physical vigour squan- 
dered in the metropolis, and to work themselves into condition 
for six days a week in the shires during the following month. 
It must be admitted that Arthur has a very critical assembly, 
but we have confidence that the best horseman in the field, it 
there be a run, will have to play the game of follow my leader ; 
the lover of precision and dash will be compelled to applaud, 
and the worshipper of close hunting will have nothing to com- 
plain of. 

But where are the hounds ? They are in the farm buildings, 
which are in the occupation of a keen lover of the sport. We 
wish him good morning, hope that there is a stag at home, and 
that he will give us ' the run of the season.' 

' There be a vine stag down along in the bottom ; and if 
he don't give 'ee a vine run, he's eat my oats to no purpose,' is 
the reply. 

But his lordship has come, so we feel that the business of 
the day is drawing near. 

Arthur, his lordship, and the harbourer have a brief confer- 
ence, and then retire to the other side of the farmyard. We 
follow the trio and soon learn that the tufters are to be brought 
out. The whipper-in is at the door of the barn, and in 
accordance with Arthur's instructions calls out five and a half 
couples of steady workmanlike-looking hounds, whose appear- 
ance denotes contact with anything but a bed of roses. 

However, they bear their honourable scars with dignity, and 


leave their confreres to endure their disappointment as best 
they may. A move is 'made. The visitors pull up their girths, 
test the length of their stirrups, and prepare for a burst over 
the moors. They little know what is in store for them, though 
they express to one another some surprise at the indifference to 
the proceedings displayed by the local sportsmen. However, 
they leave the provincials to take care of themselves and trot 
down the hills after Arthur and the tufters, prepared to have the 
day's sport to themselves. There is no dwelling on the part of 
Arthur, and while the visitors have been engaged in conversa- 
tion, they discover that they have been left in the lurch and 
must gallop along the hard road at the bottom, that they may 
ascertain which direction he has taken. 

They cannot see him, for he has turned up the hill into the 
cover, about two hundred yards forward. They have, however 
the satisfaction of hearing his voice, and the stones rolling 
under his horse's feet. Very soon a hound opens. ' Hush ! is 
that right ? ' comes from half a dozen voices. Arthur's cheer 
settles the doubt. Then another hound challenges. ' Where's 
Arthur ? What are the hounds doing ? Good Heavens, why 
Arthur is going out at the top! How the deuce did he get 
there ? ' Happily a local sportsman with an expression of calm 
satisfaction comes to the rescue with ' All right, gentlemen, get 
you back to the meet as quickly as you can, or the hounds 
will go without 'ee.' 

We turn our horses' heads, beat a retreat up the slippery, 
narrow lane, find three-fourths of the field standing by their 
horses, and chatting as cool as cucumbers. 'We have done 
something foolish, but what it is I can't explain,' says a cynical 
sportsman, who has just arrived from the bottom, his horse's 
flanks heaving as though the labours of the day have already 
been more than he cares for. 

Presently, a smart groom arrives on a quick blood-like little 
horse, and loses no time in communicating to his lordship that 
Arthur has stopped the hounds just outside the cover on the 
round hill. All then is bustle and excitement. The barn 


doors are thrown open, his lordship gives a shrill blast from his 
horn, and the whole pack rush down the steep hill after him at 
a pace that is particularly unpleasant to all but the native 
sportsmen and their horses. ' That's the best way, my lord 
right up the road ! ' says a farmer on a pony. The hint is taken, 
and the summit of the wood is gained in less than five minutes 
from the start. There is Arthur, impatient as the hounds. He 
gives one cheer, claps them on the line before a third of the 
field has reached the open, and keeps driving the pack on at 
their best pace. The ground is uneven and rugged, but the 
pace is good, and the hounds are drawing away from the horses. 
On yonder hill Arthur views the quarry running westwards to 
the inclosed country, where he is lost to sight. The local 
sportsmen make the best of their way to the point where he was 
last viewed, while the veteran huntsman and the hard riders 
drive their horses along in pursuit of the pack. 

On the crest of the hill they throw up, but Arthur will not 
let them rest. Sticking his spurs into his horse, and giving a 
couple of twangs with his horn, he gallops at their head to the 
inclosed country. There the hounds hit off the scent, and 
race parallel with the moor road for a couple of miles, when a 
turn at right angles down to the bottom fills the minds of the 
timid horsemen with amazement. "Tis no use going there,' is 
proclaimed far and wide. Yet the hounds go, and they who 
wish to see the end must follow suit. 

At the bottom is a bog, from whence flows a small stream. 
The hounds are at fault again. Eager eyes are straining to 
discern the 'slot.' None is perceptible. ' He's gone right on,' 
chime in those who are well mounted. 'What has Arthur 
gone back for ? ' He has seen the slot fifty yards back point- 
ing backwards A shout soon proclaims that the stag is seen 
in the pool down the stream. The hounds interpret the mean- 
ing of that shout correctly, and race off. But before they can 
reach him, he rises from the pool, or ' breaks soil ' in the 
fullness of his strength and majesty, and with the drops of water 
trickling from his neck and belly, he races back to the moors, 


apparently as fresh as though he had only just been roused. 
The cunning sportsmen are seen galloping back to meet us. 
The day is theirs. They will have it all to themselves yet, 
' Ah ! it ain't over yet ! ' says a farmer on a little sandy-looking 
grass-fed horse that was galloping more easily than we liked. 
The hounds show now how they can race when they are on 
good terms with their quarry. ' A horse down.' ' Yes, there 
he is, to the right.' ' What brought him down ? ' ' He is 
pumped out, like many others.' Still, Arthur on his chestnut 
seems tied to his hounds, and we follow him as nearly as we 
can to the edge of a large cover, and down a steep path, until 
we see him pause. Here come the hounds straight to us, with 
the stag not twenty yards ahead of them. 

He crosses the path at a bound. Like lightning Arthur 
presses his horse to the point, and shouts, ' Tally-ho, back ! ' 
' What's that about ? ' ' Why, the hunted stag is lying close, 
and has turned out another.' 

About two minutes elapse before the hounds speak, then 
there is a chorus of voices, and a crash down to the bottom. 
All is silent again. We view him running down stream at a 
sharp trot. But no hounds are after him ? Yes, they are ; 
running in cover parallel to him. 

' Forrard ! ' shouts the whipper-in from the opposite side of 
the wood, and we gallop in line down a dry watercourse, full of 
boulders and roots, until we reach a turn in the valley. Hounds 
are off the line. We all conclude he has gone down in deep 
water. But ' Tally-ho ! ' from the whipper-in assures us that he 
has once more broken cover. 

After struggling up the hill in line, and seeing Arthur 
galloping away on his second horse, which has apparently 
dropped from the clouds, we find that the time for nursing 
our horses has arrived. Happily we are riding inside the 
circle, and can see every yard of the run. Twenty minutes in 
the open brings us to a long rocky ravine covered with brush- 
wood, and glad enough we are to see Arthur casting his 
hounds along the slope nearest to us. The hounds cannot 



recover the scent. Minute succeeds minute. Impatience and 
disappointment are written on the features of the few that are 
with us. Arthur will not give it up. He takes the hounds to 
the river, and casts them on both banks down the stream. 
Then he brings them back, and casts them up the stream, 
His cheery shout of encouragement denotes that he has seen 
something. What is it? His quick vision has detected that 
the large boulder in mid-stream has been splashed, and is still 


1 His bead is down, and 
his tongue out.' 

wet. He knows the stag 
has been there. He 
presses on the hounds ; 
they open on the right 
bank, and run hard up 
the ravine. ' He is getting 
beaten now,' says a local 
doctor, who has been well to 
the front throughout the run. 
our satisfaction, we see the stag 
up the stream with hounds 


close to his heels. They've got him 
No, they won't have him just 


yet. He's ' broken soil ' again, and is making for the open. 
His head is down, and tongue out. He cannot hold out long 
at this pace. The hounds know he is sinking, and race after 
him with a dash that we have not seen them show before. He 
turns in our teeth, runs down the slope again, crosses the 


road, and plunges once more into the river with the hounds 
all around him. The whipper-in and a farmer jump off their 
horses, scramble from stone to stone until they get on either 
side of him. He does not apparently notice their approach, 
his attention is confined to the hounds in front of him. 

In an instant his horns are seized, and his head bent down 
and back ; while the ever-present Arthur approaches him in 
front and delivers the coup de grace with the coolness and 
adroitness of a Listen. ' Whoo whoop ! ' proclaims that life 
is extinct, and his carcase is dragged by half a dozen of the 
field to the bank. The slots are cut off, and gracefully 
presented to two visitors by his lordship. The head is re- 
moved, the carcase cleaned for the purpose of blooding the 
hounds, and directions given for the distribution of the veni- 
son. A splendid head it is, with ' four on top,' to add to the 
fine collection at Castle Hill. 

After running for two hours and twenty minutes, broken 
by but few brief intervals for relaxing the strain upon the 
respiratory organs of our horses, we willingly swell the number 
of the first detachment bound for home ; and as we jog along 
the moorland road we feel, as we have often done before, that 
the ride homeward with sympathetic companions is by no 
means the least enjoyable part of a day's hunting. 

The conversation naturally turns on the ability of Arthur 
and the high character of the pack ; and when we learn that by 
their joint efforts over one hundred deer have been run down 
in a single season, we are not surprised at the homage paid to 
the Exford establishment. 

The fact that the country is so well stocked with deer speaks 
volumes for the tact and liberality displayed by Lord Ebrington 
and his popular predecessor, Mr. Fenwick Bisset, and certifies 
to the existence of an excellent understanding between all 
classes of the community. 

The destructive propensity of the deer must be experienced 
to be believed. The majority of the farmers on the borders of 
the moors suffer considerable and vexatious losses. These 


happily are fully and courteously recognised, the presents of 
venison being in proportion to the damage sustained. At one 
time many magnificent deer fell by the bullet of the poacher, 
who maimed and mutilated more than he killed ; but these 
atrocities were perpetrated during that period of demoralisation 
when the country was not regularly and systematically hunted. 
Such an unhappy state of affairs will, we trust, never recur. 
We scarcely think it is likely to do so until existing Acts of 
Parliament for the preservation of game and deer have been 
repealed, and replaced by special Acts for the encouragement 
and protection of the poacher. 


We shall not be very wide of the mark if we describe the fox 
as the 'spoilt darling of the nineteenth century,' and at the same 
time as the most irreconcilable to civilisation of our fauna. 

No one, so far as we know, has ever given the stoat or the 
weasel, the badger or the otter, a fair chance of proving whether 
by care and kindness and a regular diet they can be so far 
domesticated as to refrain from destroying at all times and 
seasons and out of sheer cussedness, what they may consider 
their legitimate and lawful prey in the shape of flesh, fowl, or 
fish. With the fox, on the contrary, the experiment has been 
repeatedly tried that he can be tamed to a certain extent, as 
regards contact with human beings, is undoubted. He may, if 
taken as a cub, be handled, played with, and perhaps, though 
he is not exactly lavender water at the best of times, may be 
taught habits of cleanliness, sufficient to secure his admission 
under protest to the house. Nay, more, he may be brought 
to live on terms of amity with his natural enemy the 
dog, or his very neutral ally the cat, but one instinct of the 
savage state will always remain so thoroughly ingrained as to be 
ineradicable. With poultry or rabbits he can never be trusted, 
or, to speak more correctly, he can thoroughly be trusted to 
pounce on and kill them. It is the old Adam, the nature which 


you cannot expel even with the handle of a pitchfork ; the 
prongs, as used by an irascible henwife, may in individual 
instances prove efficacious, without at all upsetting our theory. 
That in his wild state he is the most petted of animals, the 
only felon the condonation of whose felony finds favour with a 
law-abiding public, is beyond contradiction. Hunted he must 
be ; if he is to exist at all in England it is his raison tfetre, and 
if consulted on the subject he would probably not wish it other- 
wise. He thoroughly understands the sport in all its branches. 
Pursuit by a terrier is looked upon as a friendly game of romps ; 

1 In search of a supper.' 

a merry-go-round with a pack of harriers (not too big) is re- 
garded in much the same light, and it is only the pack of adver- 
tised foxhounds (he is particular on the score of advertisement) 
whom he considers really worthy of the steel of his cunning 
and staunchness. 

Of course he has to contend with incidental annoyance, 
such as that of being coursed by a brace of greyhounds these 
are soon settled by a stiff bullfinch of being shot at by a 
shortsighted or over-enthusiastic gunner a much more serious 


matter; or of finding himself fast in a neglected rabbit trap, 
the most serious case of all, requiring instant amputation by his 
own teeth of the imprisoned limb ; but these accidents he 
generally debits in his life's ledger as the drawbacks inseparable 
from a nobly selfish career, so long as he is free, as in all 
well-regulated countries he is free, from fear of poison or 
other malicious conspiracy against his existence. 

For the rest, who is there in these troublous times that 
enjoys such complete immunity from the universal depression, 
as the ' thief o' the world,' the chartered freebooter of our fields 
and forests ? A certain amount of deprivation he may indeed 
have suffered from the Hares and Rabbits Bill, when it first 
came into operation, but he soon learned to recoup himself 
by increased raids upon pheasant preserves, or poultry yards, 
leaving the M.F.H. and the hunt fund on the one part, the 
keepers and the farmers on the other, to adjust their differences 
as best they could. 

Broadly speaking, his hand is against every man and no 
man's hand is, without due notice, against him. Hunting days 
excepted, he parcels out the twenty-four hours after the manner 
of most predatory animals, even after the fashion of the man 
about town ; the nights he devotes to refreshment, plunder, 
and love, the days to the luxury of rest and sleep, being ex- 
tremely fastidious as to the warmth and dryness of his bed- 
room. Of course it is annoying after a hard and perhaps 
unsuccessful night's poaching to find the main earth 'put to,' 
but is not this barring out a sufficient hint to his acute intellect 
that he may look out for squalls on the following day ? And he 
betakes himself with grim complacency to a hole under a hay- 
stack, the top of an ivy-covered wall, a grassy bank, the shelter 
of a thick gorse or thorn covert, or some other well-known 
coign of vantage, where experience, or the excellent advice 
of his vixen mother has taught him that he can see without 
being seen. 

Here, when a deep sleep comes upon him, he may be 
occasionally taken unawares, but the due and lawful warning 


given from the up-wind side, in the shape of a blast on the 
horn, the crack of a whip, or the huntsman's cheer, seldom 
fails to arouse him to timely wakefulness. 

If a regular old customer, who has more than once baffled 
his keen pursuers, the tramp of the horse-hoofs heard from 
afar will often suffice to put him on his legs, and cause him to 
steal away before the smartest of whips can ' get round ' for 
a view. Threading his invisible way as he well knows how, 

' Stealing away.' 

under bank or hedge, he leaves no sign or trace save the mys- 
terious inexplicable clue which men call scent. 

And by no better name could it be called. The French, 
from whom we have borrowed many of our terms of venery, 
say la vote or la piste, expressions which to English ears, at 
least, fail to convey the idea of the ' ravishing perfume ' J on 

1 I'ide the adaptation of the Bloomer editress in Mr. Sponge's immortal 



which the sport of fox hunting depends, and about which such 
various and contradictory theories have been upheld. 

For scent it unquestionably is which enables the hound to 
follow the line of the fox, but from what portion of the frame it 
emanates, whether it sometimes lies on the ground, or rises a few 
inches above it, and what are the atmospheric conditions most 
favourable to its development, seem to be vexed questions as 
far from accurate solution as are those of the squaring of the 
circle, or the precise date of the Greek kalends. This much 
is certain that hounds will, on really good scenting days, 
carry as good a head, and run as unerringly fifty yards down 
wind of the line, as they can when following in the actual track, 
showing that scent can be diffused over a very considerable 
space of ground ; and instances there are, rare but well authen- 
ticated, where hounds have been laid on to a spot where the 
fox has been seen to pass, and have failed to show even an 
indication of feathering, yet on being brought back to the same 
place after an interval of five or ten minutes, have taken up the 
line and gone away at score, though it was absolutely impos- 
sible that a fresh taint could have been left ; thus making it 
appear that scent may be held in suspense, or rise for a short 
period above the reach of hounds' olfactories, and then settle 
down again. Our own experience leads us to believe that 
scent in a great measure depends upon the individual animal, 
but, as we cannot sustain our conviction by scientific proof, we 
refrain from arguing upon it. 

On these, as on many other interesting points, the fox could 
give us trustworthy information. He and he alone knows the 
secret of his scent, and by his knowledge he doubtless regulates 
his movements ; he is not, however, of a confiding nature, and 
for the sake of his own security, and for other obvious reasons, 
he remains dumb. 

So manifold are the devices of the fox for eluding his 
pursuers, that volumes might be filled with the stories of his 
cunning, and of the skill and presence of mind with which he 
extricates himself from apparently hopeless difficulties ; what- 


ever he may feel he. never looks flurried, and whether swinging 
with his long easy stride over the first field, in the full vigour 
of freshness, or crawling along with his back up as the pack 
breaks from scent to view, he presents ever the same resolute 
appearance of knowing exactly what he means to do next 
though, in the latter case, his meaning is limited to a grim 
determination to make his teeth meet in the first hound that 
lays hold -of him, and to quit life and grip together. But all 
runs do not terminate with a tragedy, and considering the 
craft and resources of the hunted animal, we can only marvel 
at the perseverance and science which bring so many foxes 
fairly to hand during the course of a season. 

Gifted with speed, for a few furlongs, at least, in excess of 
that of the fleetest foxhound, our hero, save in exceptionally 
open countries, is not long in bringing the pack to their 
noses ; to get out of sight is his first care, and, even on the 
downs, his instinct at once shows him how to avail himself of 
pays acddente in order to break the view ; of ploughmen and 
shepherds he takes his chance he sees them long before they 
see him, and, if chased by the dogs of the latter a liberty 
which is seldom carried to close quarters he comforts himself 
with the reflection that more foxes have been lost than killed 
through the interference of an over-zealous cur. 

Strongly inclosed or wooded countries naturally afford the 
fullest opportunities for the exercise of his wiles and dodges ; 
with the carte du pays at the tips of his pads, he knows every 
dry ditch, watercourse, meuse, or run where he can slip easily 
along, but where the hounds must file or force their way, and 
if he takes to water, which he can do like an otter, we may feel 
pretty sure that he has no struggle on getting out, though the 
honeycombed ledge which gave him foot-hold crumbles away 
at the first touch of his heavier-footed pursuers. 

With a sidelong climb he can surmount most park walls, 
and he can run up a tree like a cat, if the bark be rough and 
the incline slightly in his favour, but this is a trick which he 
does well not to try too often, for if a fox takes to perching, he 

F 2 


is sure to be ' tree'd ' at last, and a drop of fifteen or twenty 
feet, land he never so lightly, is neither bracing at the com- 
mencement, nor restorative towards the end, of a run. 

One bred in the neighbourhood of a country town, soon 
makes himself acquainted with the ins and outs of every pig- 
stye and hovel about the place ; he can thread a suburb like a 
rate collector. Wearying to the hounds and exasperating to 
the huntsman, such an animal is appreciated only by the 
publicans, who on occasion of a town hunt, glean a goodly 
harvest from the drinking division, which always furnishes a 
considerable contingent in every field of horsemen. Adven- 
turous wanderer though he is, and much as we admire his 
courage, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the fox is some- 
what too apt to seek ignoble refuge beneath the surface of the 
soil, and, however diligent the earth stoppers, however carefully 
grated the old stone drains, some underground lurking place 
always seems to have escaped man's observation, though duly 
noted by the retentive vulpine memory as open and good at 

Gone to ground ! Who-whoop ! It is neither one thing 
nor the other, and the spirit of the chase is chilled. Then 
follows the question, What shall we do with him ? If the 
sanctuary is a short drain, or culvert, with two ends to it, and 
the terriers are handy, a bolt may be speedily effected ; a squib, 
a charge of powder from a gun, or hydraulic pressure, where 
there is a slight stream of water which can be dammed and 
suddenly sluiced down upon the refugee, will equally serve the 
purposes of what we may call legitimate eviction ; but against 
prolonged disinterment by a gang of labourers, ending with a 
worry over the mouth of a yawning chasm, we at least would 
fain enter energetic protest The stock arguments in favour of 
a dig are almost too well known to need repetition, but have 
we sufficiently considered them from the fox's point of view? 

If the act of sepultus de se occurs early in the run, there 
arises at once a chorus of 'Wretched brute ! Cowardly devil! Not 
worth saving ! Deserves his fate ! ' &c. How do we know ? May 


not a brave fox have headache, or toothache, or dyspepsia, or 
some ailment which he feels for the time incapacitates him 
from doing justice to himself, and to the pack whose prowess 
he has learnt rightly to esteem ? May he not laudably wish to 
reserve himself for some future day, when, in the full vigour of 
matured strength and perfect health, he will be ready to try 
conclusions over that ten-mile point which is recorded in the 
annals of his county hunt to have been safely traversed by 
his predecessors ? 

Who can tell ? And why should we condemn him unheard ? 
If, on the other hand, he just saves his brush at the end of a 
good thing by going to ground a few yards in front of the 
leading hound, we are told ' The hounds deserve him ; he was 
dead beat ; sure to die in the night,' &c. All this may be true, 
but he is a hardy, good-constitutioned brute, used to roughing 
it, and will, no doubt, gladly take his chance of recovery from 
over-exertion ; and as for the hounds, they get plenty of blood 
in the course of the season, let them for once go without these 
deserts ; they are perfectly aware that, though baffled, they have 
not been beaten ; so why not spare him ? What he has done 
once, he may, and probably will, do again ; and next time, 
perchance, the euthanasia in the open shall reflect the more 
credit upon all parties concerned. 

Nevertheless, we are aware that it is good for foxes to 
understand that subterranean fortresses are not absolutely im- 
pregnable. We know also that farmers may grumble if the 
cherished marauder is permitted too often to laugh at the 
beard of the huntsman. ' Circumstances alter cases,' was a 
favourite maxim with the late Lord Beaconsfield though we 
forbear giving his favourite illustration thereof. 

When all is said and done, the decision to dig or not to dig 
must, and should be, left to the judgment of the master. He can 
hardly be expected to summon a jury of his fellow-sportsmen 
on the spot, still less to take a verdict from the down or up- 
turned thumbs of the whole field ; on him and on him alone 
rests the ultimate responsibility, let us hope that he may usually 


incline to mercy, and that at any rate 'give him a chance,' may 
be the final and peremptory order to the hunt-servants. We 
may here mention that one of the most remarkable hiding 
places we have ever seen resorted to by a fox was the large 
wheel of a mill. 

N.B. The mill was not going at the time. 

Like other wild animals, the fox is supposed to be, and 
probably is incapable of recognising his parents or offspring 
after he has ceased to be dependent on them, or they on him. 
If this is not so he displays at times an almost human intelli- 
gence in subordinating family feeling to self-interest, for one of 
his chosen methods of escape consists in diverting pursuit into 
another channel, and to this end he hesitates not to push his 
son or mother out of his or her lair, and to ensconce himself 
therein till the cry has rolled far away on the track of the 
improvised scapegoat, when chuckling over the success of his 
ruse he retires discreetly in the opposite direction. His know- 
ledge of numerals being elementary, his thoughts are mainly 
concentrated on No. i, except perhaps during the breeding 
season, say from March to June for though hazy in his ideas 
on the subject of monogamy he does to a certain extent recog- 
nise his duty as a husband and a father i.e. he will do some 
of the foraging, and act most fiercely in the defence of his 
household ; such matters are indeed distinctly within the sphere 
of his sporting and fighting instincts. The drawing the earth, 
and other preparations for the accouchement he is supposed to 
leave entirely to the vixen, than whom no more devoted mother 
exists up to the time when, having taught them all she knows, 
the family party is broken up, and the litter dispersed in the 
early mornings of cub-hunting. This ' teaching them all she 
knows ' is of paramount importance in the interests of sport, 
and if they are not to show sport why preserve foxes ? 

Educated by a watchful but not too indulgent parent in the 
hereditary cunning and traditions of their ancient race, the 
cubs soon learn how to take care of themselves in every sense 
of the word ; but if while young they are deprived of their 


mother they may become as useless for hunting purposes as 
tame cats. 

It is not an uncommon trick with keepers, who, whatever 
they may say to the contrary, all hate foxes, to kill the old ones 
a few weeks after laying down, and to hand rear the cubs on 
rabbits, rooks, offal, or even milk where it can be charged to 
the game account. 

Thus artificially raised, young master fox grows up an emas- 
culate and almost innocuous animal. He would probably kill 
the chickens if he got into the poultry yard, which he is not 
allowed to do, but never having felt the pangs of hunger, he 
has for the most part neither the wish nor the ability to destroy 
game. When the hounds come, a splendid show of foxes and 
pheasants dazzles the uninitiated. The huntsman of course 
soon sees through the trick, and having blooded his pack easily 
and liberally, goes away laughing in his sleeve, and gives his 
master a hint that this is a good place on a bad-scenting day. 
During the remainder of the season the field will occasionally 
express surprise that the foxes in Mr. So-and-So's coverts 
hardly seem to know their way from one quarter to another of 
the wood in which they were littered ; but beyond this, scant 
notice is taken, and the farce may be successfully played for 
many years, and will be the only run likely to be witnessed. 

But our theme is the wild fox, and to him we willingly 
return, though before doing so we would fain guard ourselves 
against a possible charge of injustice. 

We have said that all keepers hate foxes, and we believe it ; 
but there are unquestionably hundreds of honest servants who 
loyally obey their master's instructions to 'preserve foxes at 
any cost.' 

It is difficult to say what a fox will not eat ; rabbits and 
game probably form the highest, beetles, mice, and even frogs, 
the lowest scale in his dietary. He is said to be partial to 
water hens and water rats, and he is certainly fond of frequent- 
ing withy beds, river banks, or low-lying grounds where the 
amphibii do mostly congregate ; though he does not succeed 


in making any appreciable diminution in their numbers, he will 
kill common rats for sport like a terrier, and may in times of 
famine eat them. But it is not a food after which he hankers. 

Raw horseflesh is about the most deleterious article he 
can lake into his larder, though often put in his way to save 
game. It is apt to produce mange, the only malady from 
which, as far as is known, foxes frequently and seriously suffer. 
This dire complaint may, and no doubt does arise, from other 
causes, such as over-exertion followed by privation and ex- 
posure to wet, but however he may contract the disease a 
fox once really mangy is a misery to himself and a source of 
contagion to others ; he had better be destroyed at once, 
though the precedent of a sentence of death by shooting is at 
all times a risky one to establish. 

There is no rule without an exception, and this may be 
made in favour of a heavy but mangy vixen she does not 
necessarily infect her young, though she herself remains in- 

Habitual criminal as he is a felon of the deepest dye the 
fox, like the devil, is not quite so black as he is painted, and 
sins are laid to his charge, of which he is wholly guiltless ; 
was it Mr. Jorrocks or another of Surtees's sporting celebrities 
who received a bill with request for immediate payment for a 
' young bull and ten acres of vetches,' said to have been con- 
sumed by ravenous Reynard? Such items as these are, perhaps, 
not often debited to his account, but the accusation of lamb 
slaughter, false as it is frequent, has been brought against him 
in every county in England. That he will eat a dead lamb or 
sheep which has been thrown out of the fold, just as he will 
devour any other carrion is undeniable ; that he even attacks 
them when alive we believe to be a convenient fiction of care- 
less servants. Let the consigne to the shepherd be : ' Tie up 
your own dog at night, and take care that no other curs come 
near the place,' and it may safely be asserted that the flock 
will be free from death by violence. 

It is true that foxes hang about ewe-pens at night for the 


sake of the cleanings and offal which they delight in, and 
mangy or dying ones creep into the folds for warmth, and 
l;hese facts have given a show of plausibility to the tales of the 
slanderer. In the hatching season, the fox commits much 
havoc amongst the sitting birds, and though there is a prevail- 
ing belief that the hen partridge or pheasant can while on her 
nest retain her scent, so as to give no indication of her presence, 
game preservers would do well not to trust to this oft-exploded 
fallacy, but to give orders to surround such nests as are known 
with paper or tow, steeped in a mixture of tar and assafcetida, 
a preparation which does to some extent fend off the foxes. 
Nevertheless it not unfrequently happens that a wholly unpro- 
tected hen pheasant rears and takes away her brood from close 
proximity to a breeding earth, and farmers have been known to 
declare that they like having a litter hard by the yards, as the 
fox prefers foraging at a distance from home. 

We give this theory ' quantum valeat,' ourselves believing 
that it has been founded on a few fortunate accidents. It 
should be noted that fur seems to be almost essential to a 
healthy condition of the fox's digestive organs ; it has at least 
been proved to be so where necessicy has arisen for hand rear- 
ing cubs, and the excreta of the wild animal will be found, on 
analysis, to contain a large proportion of this ingredient. 

We have endeavoured in this admittedly imperfect sketch, 
to give the leading characteristics of the fox ; and take him 
' all in,' if any of the carnivora are to be preserved for the sake 
of sport, no other animal in the British Isles could answer the 
purpose so well, or at all. 

Owing to his strength and ferocity the wolf is out of the 
question, even if he were not, as he is, happily extinct ; the 
otter cannot be pursued on horseback, and the badger is a slow 
bad traveller. We beg pardon of the two last-named worthies, 
for classing them amongst the real carnivora. So to the fox we 
are restricted, for hunting on a great scale, and small reason 
have we to grumble at the restriction. 

Fleet, and staunch, and cunning, he can test the mettle of 


the best men, horses, and hounds, in the world. He spoils the 
rich with impunity, and leaves them to pay the costs when he 
robs the poor. Long may he flourish. It will be an evil day, 
when, the land being given over to ' Chamberlain and wanton- 
ness,' the gun, instead of the horn, shall sound the death-knel) 
of the fox. 


What is the harrier ? Well, the Encyclopedia tells us that it 
is 'the English name for the hound used in hunting the hare,' and 
it would be difficult to give a more definite description, for he 
would be a bold man who would undertake to say that there 
is now-a-days a distinct breed of this nature in the United 
Kingdom, nor is it worth while to inquire whether there ever 
was such a breed. It may be taken for granted that all harriers 
have a very strong dash of foxhound blood in them, derived 
either from immediate or more remote ancestry, and that the 
packs composed of what are called true-bred harriers are those 
whose owners have not wittingly purchased drafts from fox- 
hound kennels, or renovated their blood by a cross therefrom. 

On the other hand, many packs consist entirely of dwarf fox- 
hounds, that being the simplest, most expeditious, and probably 
the cheapest method of getting and keeping together a ' cry of 
hare dogs.' That there is no difficulty in persuading them 
to run hare, any M.F.H. who has attended to the enter- 
ing of his puppies during the cub-hunting season will bear 
witness, but the drawbacks to the system are these : First, as 
to size. Dwarf foxhounds, dwarf though they be, are apt 
to be too big, it being difficult to obtain them under 21 or 20 
inches (they often top 22), whereas harriers that are restricted 
to their legitimate quarry, and it is of these only that we are 
writing, should never exceed 19 inches, 17 or 18 being perhaps 
a better standard, otherwise in countries where the regular sport 
is carried on they may become an unmitigated nuisance. 

All harriers, except perhaps the wariest veterans, will pursue 


fox as eagerly as hare, and though in districts where outlyers 
are frequent, an occasional dart after a brush is inevitable, there 
rarely results much mischief or a tragic finish ; when the 
hounds are really small, they can usually be stopped before 
a holding covert is reached, and on the whole do more good 
than harm by moving the ' thief of the world ' out of the odd 
holes and corners he is so fond of frequenting, and where he is 
seldom discovered by his natural enemies. But let a pack of 
2 1 -inch pure bred foxhounds get a fair start on a good scenting 
day at a fox out of a hedgerow ; they are as likely as not and 
why not ? to rip him up in five-and-twenty minutes, let the 
green-coated master and his retainers ride never so valiantly ; 
then when the first flush of triumph is over, there is shame 
and remorse, and when the story gets wind the M.F.H. is 
indignant, the owners of coverts are annoyed, and the sub- 
scribers wax hot in their wrath, while all unite in cursing the 
currant-jelly dogs. We wonder if any of our readers ever 
heard the late George Payne give an account of how with his 
harriers (for that Ulysses of sport had in his time kept harriers) 
he once found a fox in a remote Pytchley withy bed, and ' killed 
him on the top of the main earth at Arthingworth.' 

Shame and remorse we may be sure he felt none, but even 
in the paroxysms of laughter occasioned by his inimitable 
description of how he ' cut him into collops with a penknife, to 
tempt the confounded hounds who wouldn't eat him,' we re- 
member thinking that no one but G. P. ' aurait su se tirer de 

Secondly, dwarf foxhounds have too much dash, and when 
the hare begins to double, and execute her manifold manoeuvres, 
they keep over-running the scent, and casting themselves for- 
ward, instead of trying back, which seems to be the natural 
instinct of hounds descended from some generations of hare- 
hunting forefathers. 

The best plan, therefore, for a beginner is to purchase a 
draft of old dogs and bitches, from one or more established 
harrier kennels if he has any friends in the line so much the 


better and start breeding at once on his own account. He is 
pretty sure to buy some curious specimens of the maimed, the 
halt, and even the blind people don't sell their best hounds 
but of one thing he may feel tolerably certain, that being so 
many season hunters, they must have been good, or they would 
not have been kept so long. He will get them as little related 
to each other as may be, and in hunting he must at first take 
his chance. Of all perplexing sciences commend us to harrier 
breeding. Put a straight dog and a straight bitch together and 
the litter is as likely as not to exhibit every shade of canine 
deformity, whereas the progeny of a slack-loined dog and a 
bandy-legged bitch may be as neat little fellows "as ever walked 
the flags. Then, again, when the foxhound cross is remote, 
wire-coats become very common, not that this is altogether a dis- 
advantage, as it is a hardy, keen-scented sort, but the wiry ones 
rather destroy the general smartness and uniformity of the 
pack, and where the master is afraid of criticism he may object 
to overhearing remarks about terriers and otter hounds at the 
meet. But after all the main object is to show sport, and to 
this end the most important thing is breeding for nose. Always 
use a hound that can be depended upon on roads, especially 
when roads are dry. He is a treasure, cherish him, and try to 
reproduce him as often as possible, for in road work harriers 
are apt to lose their heads, hurry each other, and act in a manner 
entirely contrary to their usual nature ; it is wonderful how far 
a hare will travel the highway if she be not headed, sometimes 
for a mile or so at a time, meanwhile if there be no ' Mac- 
adamite Mentor ' in the pack, the master suffers tortures as he 
sees one hound after another whimpering in front ; he mistrusts 
their jealousy, dares not stop \hemjusf yet, but has grave mis- 
givings that Puss has turned off right or left some hundreds ot 
yards back. 

If on the other hand he has an old (or young) 'smell- 
well ' absolutely trustworthy over the stones and dust, he can trot 
gaily along, feeling sure that so long as he hears that well-known 
tongue his quarry has not diverged from the beaten track. 



Colour is unimportant unless the M.H. has a crotchet that 
way ; and, thanks to bloodhound crosses, some remarkable 
varieties occasionally crop up. Blue-mottle is, however, the 
traditional harrier hue ; it is now comparatively scarce, and we 
are bound to say we never remember seeing a bad hound in a 
blue-mottled skin. 

aAvV "4: --V---^-^^-^' , 

1 One hound after another whimpering in front.' 

The puppies should be sent out to walk about the end of 
September ; when they come in depends a good deal upon the 
forbearance of the farmers' wives. As many are sent home in 
February it is not a bad plan to take such as are strong enough 
out hunting for a short time in March ; they get more than an 


inkling of their business, and enter without further trouble at 
the beginning of the following season. 

If possible, never take out less than ten couples ; 12^ or 13 
is perhaps the best number, and never more than 15 couples, 
anything in excess of that complement looks ridiculous, and 
when unravelling an entangled skein of work, a lot of hounds 
only tumble over one another and get in each other's way. 

It is well, however, to keep 15 or 16 couples of working 
hounds ; bitches have an inconvenient knack of going to heat 
at the same time, accidents occur in the field, and deadly fights 
are not uncommon in the kennels. No more quarrelsome 
fiend exists than your harrier in private life, and there is often 
a Mephistopheles in the pack, who, having started a wrangle, 
sneaks quietly out of the fray, and with grim contentment 
watches his brethren rolling over in a compact mass, and worry- 
ing to the death. To avoid this internecine strife, the hounds 
should, where there is accommodation for the purpose, be 
separated into small batches, especially at night, except after 
hunting, when they will sleep together quietly enough and lie 
warmer. Feeding is conducted on much the same lines as with 
foxhounds ; the diet consisting of flesh and meal, and the 
kitchen refuse is often thus utilised. In kennels where 
economy is studied, Indian meal, though not so nutritious, may 
safely be substituted for oatmeal. Harriers do not generally 
travel such long distances to covert, or make such long days 
as the fox-hunting packs, and can therefore do with less 
stimulating food. In some few establishments Spratt's biscuits 
are exclusively used, steeped for twenty-four hours in cold water, 
but the mess should be warmed before it goes into the troughs. 
Slaughtering and all the regular dirty work is of course avoided 
by this system, which nevertheless is not popular amongst 
kennel huntsmen. Bones and hides, where allowed, are 
valuable perquisites. 

The staff need not necessarily consist of more than two 
servants ; one man can easily double the parts of kennel and 
field huntsman, or he can whip-in if the master, as he usually 


does, hunts the hounds himself ; but it is advisable that there 
should be some one in authority whose attention is not entirely 
devoted to the pack, as he may and should, by example and 
precept, prevent much damage being done to vetches, turnips, 
seeds, beans, and wheat, though in the case of the last-named 
the mischief is far more apparent than real ; still it must ever 
be borne in mind that farmers who allow their land to be 
hunted over by harriers make a far greater concession to sport 
than is required for foxhounds, as a field may be crossed not 
once or twice, but ten or twelve times in the course of the day's 
diversions. Harriers should always be taken to covert and 
brought home by two persons, otherwise they loiter and forage, 
and not unfrequently pick up a scent, with the result perchance 
of a sharp spin before the work begins, or in the dark after it 
should have terminated. 

In drawing, the hounds should be permitted to scatter them- 
selves pretty freely ; it may look smarter to have them kept 
within a short radius of the huntsman's horse, but the draw is 
thus often unduly prolonged. They will strive quickly enough 
to cry when the game is afoot, or when a line is touched fresh 
enough to be spoken to, for though they may appear indifferent 
they are in reality keenly observant of each other's actions : 
witness the way they will gather as if by telegraphic signal the 
moment a trusted comrade shows even the faintest indica- 
tion of feeling a scent ; witness also their utter disregard of the 
voice of a babbler, if such a one has, through misplaced kindness, 
escaped his well-merited doom for two or three weeks. In 
inclosed countries the services of the pedestrians may be most 
useful in beating the banks and hedges; few harriers will thread 
a hedgerow properly without the stimulus of a scent, nor is it 
quite desirable that they should do so, as they are thus liable to 
become rabbit hunters. We have never seen the experiment 
tried, but have always been of opinion that a small hardy 
terrier would be a valuable coadjutor for hedge work; he would 
of course, be often outpaced, but if interested in the business 
he would be sure to turn up whenever he was wanted. As to the 


habitat of hares at various seasons, there are numerous theories, 
but the farmers and their shepherds, if they will part with their 
information, are the best guides. An occasional half-crown to 
the latter is money really well laid out 

Nota Bene. The old poacher who knows where ( a hare do 
mostly bide,' is by no means to be encouraged in his researches, 
if he does know he do mostly transfer that hare to his own 
pocket, and if he stumbles upon one by accident he considers 
himself entitled to a pension for life. 

The game once started and hounds fairly in pursuit, the 
maxim ' leave 'em alone ' can hardly be too rigidly observed, 
when they come to a check either from over-running, from a 
bit of cold scenting ground, from cattle foil, or from whatever 
cause, let them swing and cast ; sit still and give them every 
chance of rectifying their own error, or of puzzling through the 
difficulty in their own way ; only when they are utterly non- 
plussed should the huntsman go to their assistance. View 
holloas may be, and often are, of material aid, but they are 
always open to suspicion, especially when there is reason to 
suppose that the hare is getting tired. Few men can dis- 
criminate between a fresh and a beaten animal, but everyone 
is absolutely certain that the hare he has seen is the hunted one. 
In cases of doubt it is best to send the whip quietly forward to 
interview the owner of the ' voice crying,' and to elicit as far as 
possible from what direction the hare was coming when last 
seen, which way was her head, and where the hounds were when 
she was viewed. The remarkable answers usually given to 
these apparently simple questions would drive a public-school 
examiner into a lunatic asylum. Above all things, never try to 
lift harriers when they are really running. In the attempt to 
cut off a corner and hasten the desired catastrophe, many a 
hare has been lost which would otherwise have succumbed in 
the course of a few minutes. If harriers get their heads fairly 
up, they take far longer to put them down again than do fox- 
hounds, who will stoop almost as soon as their huntsman ceases 
cheering and galloping. The field should never be allowed to 



press on the pack if it is possible to prevent them, which it is 
not. Harriers hate being crowded by horses, and if met by 
them will often appear to check on purpose, and try back or in 
any direction but the one in which they were running. Then 
the huntsman should catch hold of them at once, get the coast 
clear, and cast beyond the scene of opposition. Also on bad 
scenting days, when hounds hang and potter and are inclined 
to run back and rejoice over spots which have been favoured 

'The field should never be allowed to press on the pack.' 

with special marks of the hare's attention, the huntsman or 
master will do well to ride at a walk right on to them and keep 
gently pressing them forward, but this must be done with great 
caution and observance of the older hounds. Mysterious are 
the ways of Puss and marvellous her workings. She may be 
squatting within a dozen yards, having run her foil two or three 
times before throwing herself to one side and down ; and 
squatting she appears to be, as far as harriers are concerned, 



scentless and invisible ; they will walk over her, jump over her, 
and even step upon her, but so long as she remains motionless 
they take no more heed of her than of the turnip or clod under 
which she is crouching. 

The interference of the amateur or volunteer huntsman with 
his uncouth noises and grotesque gestures must at all times be 
sternly repressed. Was there ever a happier rebuke than the 
one administered by the late Sir Richard Sutton to a stranger, 
whom he found gesticulating with outstretched fingers to the 
puzzled pack ? ' When you have quite done feeding your 
chickens, sir, perhaps you will allow me to cast my hounds.' 

Hares are weaker, and come to hand far more readily before 
Christmas than later on in the season ; January, February, and 
March, being the months when the best sport may be looked 
for. Though running in rings of more or less circumference is 
the rule, there are occasions when a hare of exceptional stamina, 
usually an old Jack, will travel a four or five mile point in a 
style which would do credit to a fox ; these are of course the 
red-letter days which can only be expected to occur at most 
three times during the year, though a series of lucky changes 
may sometimes give the same result as to distance, and appear 
the same thing to the majority of the field. 

The ' amari aliquid ' inseparable from all sport ' surgit ' in 
the one of which we are writing, at the death of the hunted 
animal. There is no more pitiful, more helpless object than a 
thoroughly tired-out hare, hopping the last fifty yards of her 
career, in front of the pack. Contrast this spectacle with that 
of a fox beaten to a stand-still in the middle of a field, and 
the leading hound just running into him. We know at least 
which of this pair looks the most afraid. 

Yet hares, if they are to be hunted at all, must sometimes 
be killed ; they have at any rate a better chance with harriers 
than before a brace of greyhounds, or a shot-gun, and it is not 
wise for the pursuer too closely to analyse the feelings of the 

In performing the last rites, the paunch is a sufficient reward 


and encouragement to the hounds. The corpse should be 
given to the farmer on whose land the raw material was found, 
and the ears are the best trophy to retain, and nail up in the 

To sum up Enthusiasm for hare hunting will be felt only 
by those who are thoroughly interested in the patient working 
of hounds ; seldom encumbered with a large field of horsemen, 
they can be watched without riding in the huntsman's pocket, 
or otherwise interfering with his proceedings, while to the 
ardent youth who is fond of jumping the facilities for breaking 
his neck, or his horse's back, over a cramped country after a 
pack of harriers are simply unequalled ; and the more cautious 
rider who prefers cantering from gate to gap, will in eight days 
out of ten, receive ocular demonstration of the truth of the 
French proverb, ' Tout vient k temps k qui sait attendre.' 

We will conclude by quoting a remark of an eminent sports- 
man Mr. George Lane Fox, whom we once heard asked his 
opinion of hare hunting. He replied with his most courtly sneer : 
' I have always understood it to be a most scientific amusement.' 
There is many a true word spoke sarcastic ! 


The subject of hare hunting would be incomplete without 
some few remarks upon hunting the hare with beagles followed 
on foot It is a pretty sight to see a merry ' cry ' of these little 
fellows at work, and those who are not familiar with beagles 
would be surprised at the amount of sport which a pack, 
followed on foot, can show, when the chase is properly con- 
ducted. It may be useful to enumerate some of the most 
essential points to be observed by anyone desirous of starting 
a pack of these diminutive hounds. 

First of all comes the question of what stamp of hound is 
best suited to the diversion. This will necessarily vary some- 
what with the country over which it is proposed to hunt, but 
the two chief points to look to are steadiness and endurance, 


and these two points are of equal importance in any country. 
Steadiness can only be ascertained by experience ; for until you 
see a hound at work, you cannot say whether he is steady or 
riotous, but with regard to endurance there are a few points which 
may be incidentally noted. Weedy hounds are always very 
objectionable for two reasons. They are likely to be too fast 
in the first burst, and will almost invariably tire. The hounds 
then must be stoutly built, and tor the rest their points should 

1 A merry cry of the little fellows at work.' 

resemble as nearly as possible those of a foxhound. It must, 
however, be observed that nothing but careful breeding will 
produce a really level and uniform pack. You may, with judg- 
ment and some luck, get together a lot that will show sport even 
in your first season ; but they will not possess that level uni- 
formity which breeding will alone accomplish. 

Experience has shown that no pack under fourteen inches 
will show real sport and account for their hares in any country, 
while in very strongly fenced lands, over heather, and in a fen 


country the standard may be slightly raised, as in such districts 
as these the pack will not go so fast on account of the fences 
or height of the heather, and more stamina is necessary than in 
a less inclosed country. If the standard is less than this, a 
strong hare will soon run the pack 'out of scent,' the hounds 
will tire before half the day is over, and in cold windy weather 
will be perished if they have to cross water. In very large and 
slightly fenced fields or over the open downs the standard may 
be lowered, as in countries of this sort a pack of beagles up to 
fourteen or fifteen inches would run away from people on foot. 
It must, on the other hand, be borne in mind that no pack 
which cannot go faster than men can run will show sport and 
kill their hares, while for the comfort of faint-hearted sports- 
men it may be recollected that ' poor puss ' comparatively 
seldom runs straight, and that a good deal of the fun may be 
generally seen from a neighbouring hill. 

These remarks upon the pace of the pack suggest one 
precaution which should always be taken, wherever the ' merry 
beaglers ' enjoy their diversion : one man on horseback should 
invariably follow ; but it is essential that this person should 
not be the huntsman, and that he should on no pretence what- 
ever, except at the request of the master or huntsman, interfere 
with the pack, unless the hare has entered a fox covert, game 
preserve, or any tract of country forbidden to the hunt. This 
horseman should have strict injunctions not to ride to the 
hounds, but to hover on the outskirts of the line of chase, 
always leaning to that side which is nearest to the forbidden 
country, and his duties should be, in the first place, to endeavour 
to head the hare away from that direction, and if he fail in that, 
to stop the hounds before they enter such country. 

If this precaution is carefully carried out, much of the fox- 
hunter's jealousy of beagling will disappear, and it is certain 
that any landowner or farmer who has forbidden the little 
jelly-dogs to cross his property will be far sooner reconciled by 
seeing his veto respected than by any apology offered after the 
trespass (for such it is) has been committed. 



The huntsman should never be mounted, for a mounted 
huntsman will always, in some degree, spoil the sport for those 
on foot. 

In the first place hounds will generally get away more quickly 
and go faster with a horse behind or alongside of them, and this 
is a little hard on the runners. The case is harder still at a check. 
A man may have toiled bravely after the pack for some twenty 
minutes or so, and is congratulating himself on their having 
checked at last. Fancy the feelings of this poor fellow if the 

'A little hard on the runners.' 

hounds are at once cast at a hand canter, and hit off the line 
before he has had a moment to recover his wind ! Worst of all 
is it if, the cast having been unsuccessful, a holloa is heard at 
the distance of some half-mile or more, and perhaps uphill all 
the way. Off gallops the huntsman, and if he be excited may 
add insult to injury by shouting to the brave runner to ' put 
'em to him ' when he has hardly got enough steam left in him 
to crawl after the fast disappearing pack. This is grievous 
indeed, and shows the advisability of the huntsman sharing the 
toil with his fellow-sportsmen. 

It may here be of some assistance to make a few remarks 


upon the best method of hunting a pack of beagles in pursuit 
of a hare. 

It must, of course, be borne in mind that the following hints 
only apply to hounds perfectly to be trusted, and especially 
that there are no babblers or mute hounds in the pack to 
be hunted. A pack of beagles should not be left too much 
to themselves. This sounds a somewhat startling statement, 
and it must be at once conceded that too much and untimely 
interference is a far greater evil than too little, but a pack of 
beagles may be trained to hunt with as much dash as fox- 
hounds, without losing any of their accuracy, and this will 
never be attained by an absolutely ' let alone ' system. One 
great step towards the attainment of this dash will be gained 
by always encouraging the body of the pack to go forward 
quickly ' to cry,' and by insisting on the tail hounds being pre- 
vented from lingering, which is, as a rule, a fault with beagles. 
When the hounds come to check, do not be in too great a hurry 
to assist them unless you have certain information of the line the 
hare has taken, and even then sometimes a smart pack will 
swing on to the line and get to the point where the hare was 
viewed more quickly than you could get them there by lifting 
them, though this is not, of course, always the case. If then 
you have no information, always allow your hounds to make 
their own cast before you make yours, and watch proceed- 
ings closely, for they will often cast themselves in the right 
direction but not far enough to recover the line. In casting, 
do not be afraid to cast forward in the first instance. If your 
hare is forward, time is of far greater importance than if she 
has doubled, and a good pack of beagles will always be found 
to have a far greater tendency to swing back when the line is 
forward than to swing forward when the line is back. Beagles 
will never go many yards forward without a scent, but it is by 
no means so certain that they will always take the line as far 
forward as the hare has gone. This is particularly to be borne 
in mind on bad scenting days. 

For the rest, if you have a good pack, always believe their 


tongues rather than any other source of information with regard 
to the line the hare has taken, leave them as much alone as 
you can, so that you do not suffer them to potter, and if you 
do take them in hand, do it as quickly as possible when you 
are at it. Running after beagles is no child's play, if you 
would be near enough to the little fellows as they crowd on to 
the line of their hare to note those niceties of the chase which 
may perhaps be seen to as great advantage with beagles as 
with any other hounds. To accomplish this a man must be 
blessed with a good pair of legs, good wind, and, above all, 
he must have that determination to be with them which the 
genuine love of the sight of a pack of any hounds in full cry 
will alone give him. 



PRUDENCE, no less than humanity, should induce every man 
who owns horses to do his best for them. If they are fit and 
well they will do their work with comfort and satisfaction alike 
to themselves and their master. By common care a score of 
ills which afflict horseflesh may be avoided ; but common care 
is an uncommon thing in many establishments. Horses get 
' out of sorts ' as men do, except that in the latter case the fault 
is usually with the sufferer, whereas in the case of the horse it 
is with a careless, ignorant master, or a servant who develops 
his master's qualities. The horse owner who knows nothing 
of horses is in a false position, especially when he depends 
upon a servant who knows little more, or who has prejudices 
and absurd traditions which do as much mischief as sheer ignor- 
ance. A horse may often look well in himself when he is really 
not well able to do his work. A large majority of stables, for 
instance, are a great deal too hot. Grooms like to keep them 
so because when living in such an atmosphere the horses' coats 
look beautifully smooth and glossy, and layers of fat which the 
uneducated eye mistakes for muscle are perceptible. The groom 
is pleased, the ignorant owner delighted ; but in spite of appear- 
ance the horses are constantly going wrong. They catch cold ; 
they do not clean out their mangers, and are knocked up when 
an effort is demanded. They stop in the middle of a run while 
other horses with rougher coats go steadily on, and their owners 
are sorely puzzled. 

The truth is that they pass their days and their nights in an 


atmosphere the breathing and rebreathing of which must needs 
be deleterious. When a visitor enters the stable his nose and 
eyes are equally pained, for the latter sensitive organs are 
pricked by exhalations from the foul atmosphere. Yet this is the 
air which the horse breathes not only all day when in the stable, 
but all night as well ; for he has no change of apartment. 
Fresh air is as necessary to him as to his master, but so little 
does the groom believe this that he will sometimes even block 
up the means of ventilation. A stable should be as sweet and 

' A good deal too hot.' 

clean as a house. Of course some animals are less susceptible 
to the effects of foul air than others j just as some men thrive 
in slums which would be fatal to those who have been more 
carefully nurtured. As a general principle it may be laid down 
that if a horse is to be healthy he must live in a healthy place ; 
draughts are to be avoided, but ventilation and light, together 
with exercise of a proper description, are first essentials, no less 
important to him than sound food and wholesome water. 

That no effort should be spared to find trustworthy servants 


for the stable need scarcely be pointed out. Their shortcomings 
here are less directly obvious than the shortcomings of servants 
in the house under the master's eye. It frequently happens 
that grooms have theories of their own as to the manage- 
ment of horses. The animals suffer, or even sometimes die, 
under these systems ; they are often not fit to come out of their 
stables, still less to do their work ; but nothing will persuade 
the groom that the fault is not with the horse, but with him ; 
such an idea never in fact occurs to him. That his master can 
really know anything about horses he cannot be brought to 
believe, and too often the master does, in fact, leave everything 
to his groom, who, he vaguely supposes, being a groom, must 
know what is best. Very frequently the groom is a slave of bad 
old customs and really knows nothing about any horse, still less 
is able to understand the various constitutions and peculiarities 
of the different animals in his charge. Perhaps it may be said 
without injustice that the majority of grooms possess that little 
learning which is a dangerous thing. As an example of this, 
one winter four or five horses belonging to the late Lord Henry 
Bentinck died so mysteriously that post-mortem examinations 
were made. Symptoms of poison were detected, and it pre- 
sently appeared that the groom had continually given them 
small doses of arsenic to make their coats shine. It is most 
necessary, therefore, that the horse owner should acquaint him- 
self with the best principles of stable management. He will 
not do well to trust too implicitly to hastily acquired know- 
ledge, but great advantages are likely to arise if his servants 
supposing them to be servants of the average sort, and not those 
treasures of servants which are so rare, men who know their 
business ^thoroughly and do it conscientiously perceive that 
their master understands what he is about. An old proverb 
says that ' It is the master's eye that makes the horse fat.' Fat 
horses are not wanted in the hunting field, but the idea applies 
none the less to the man who owns a stud of hunters. 

The annexed plans of the Badminton Stables will convey an 
idea of the accommodation afforded in this establishment. For 


these stables this at least may be claimed, that horses thrive in 
them, though the Badminton horses most certainly do a great 
deal of work. Days and distances are long in this country, and 
it must be remembered that the seivants of a hunt tax their 
horses severely. That horses should keep well and come out 
fit in their turn is a strong argument in favour of their residence 
and treatment. Here the stud is necessarily large. A pack 
which hunts five days a week makes heavy demands on horse- 
flesh ; but the rules which are found serviceable here will be 
equally suitable for smaller stables. 

All the hunters at Badminton are provided with loose boxes, 
the dimensions of which will be seen in the drawings. The 
fifteen feet of height to the ceiling line insures by the aid of 
ventilation the needful supply of fresh air. A ventilator is fixed 
in the ceiling line over every box, and air bricks a few inches 
from the ground are let into the walls behind the boxes. 
Windows are built on the division line of every other box, 
and there are windows also on the opposite walls, the posi- 
tions of which are indicated. A free and abundant current 
of air is thus provided. The weather is rarely so bad that 
these windows may not be opened at least for some part of the 
day : if the horses appear to be cold, additional clothing is 
put upon them. It was formerly the custom to completely 
darken many stables during several hours of every day, the plea 
being that horses could then rest better. The system is totally 
unnatural and therefore totally wrong. Horses are creatures of 
custom, and will rest perfectly well in the daylight. A dark 
stable almost inevitably becomes a hot stable, and the abso- 
lute necessity of air to keep a horse in health cannot be too 
strenuously insisted on. 

That a horse should stand day after day with his fore legs 
on a higher level than his hind must surely be detrimental to 
him. His back sinews and fetlock joints will be more or less 
strained. This again is unnatural, and it may be broadly said 
that whatever is unnatural is mischievous. The floors of the 
Badminton loose boxes are therefore laid perfectly level, and 


paved with large flat flagstones, much after the fashion of the 
London foot pavement There are no drains of any sort in the 
stables, and, as a consequence, none of those noxious exhala- 
tions which are practically inseparable from the best system of 
drainage. A plentiful supply of clean straw is of course spread 
in every box, and replaced as necessity demands ; but it has 
been found that no more straw is used now than was used 
formerly when the stables were drained. The freedom which 
boxes permit seems to have a very beneficial effect on their 
occupants. Boxes cannot of course be always provided ; but 
stalls should be as nearly as possible on the same principles. 

By the side of the manger in every box is a slate receptacle 
for water, which is kept always supplied. If the horse can take 
water whenever he wants it he will drink very much less than 
when it is brought round to him in a bucket at stated times ; 
the difference in quantity is, indeed, surprising. To come to 
figures, a horse will drink about eight gallons daily if watered 
twice a day, and about five gallons if water is always in the box 
at his disposal. The receptacles are water-tight, having no outlet 
or plug of any description ; consequently there is no drip to 
make the box damp. They are cleaned every day, a sponge 
being used to soak up any water which remains when the groom 
attends to his charge. The manger and rack are made of well- 
seasoned oak, and along the top of the piece of wood which 
forms the front of the manger an iron bar standing up about 
an inch from the wood is fastened. The object of this is to 
prevent crib-biting, a bad trick the frequency of which is a 
source of astonishment to the horse owner. The animal doubt- 
less takes to crib-biting for want of occupation, it grows into a 
confirmed habit and often ends in ruining his wind, which 
crib-biting always has a tendency to affect. This iron bar to a 
certain extent prevents the trick, but it cannot be said that even 
this is wholly effectual, nor can any method of curing the horse 
be discovered. He is very much less likely to learn the trick, 
however, if this precaution be taken. Manger and rack are 
placed at such a height that the horse can stand in a natural 




Elevation of East End of Stable Yard. 

* J^i tie oj Ceiling Ventilator. 

Elevation of Front of Loose Boxes, showing Height of Ceiling. 

Plan of Front of Loose Boxes. 

ff eet 



Reference to Plan. 

A. Part of stable. 13 loose boxes. 

B. Part of stable. 6 stalls. 

C. Drug room. 

D. Little coach-house. 

E. Coach wash-house. 

F. Fire engine. 

G. Open yard. 

H. Horse wash-house. 
J. Cleaning room. 
K. Saddle room. 
L. Stable. 9 loose boxes. 
M. Groom's room. 
N. Stable. 18 loose boxes. 
O. Stable. 20 loose boxes. 
P. Covered pathway. 
R. Straw house. 
S. Hay house. 
T. Granary with floor over. 
V. Covered shed for unloading hay 

and straw. 
X. Water taps. 

9 6 


position to eat his food. It is difficult to understand why 
racks were formerly put high up above the horse's head so that 
he had to stretch for his hay, while seeds fell into his eyes and 
ears ; but so it was. The water taps will be seen marked in the 
plan. Hay, corn, and straw are taken into the stables along a 
covered way, and there is a covered shed for unloading pro- 
vender. In the saddle room is a very simple and useful 
invention for drying saddles. This is in the shape of a large 

' Can stand in a natural position to eat his food.' 

towel-horse, with iron bars set back some couple of inches, 
running behind and half-way between each rail. The rails are 
just sufficiently far apart to contain a saddle. Some fifteen or 
twenty saddles can be so arranged on the saddle-horse and 
placed before the fire to dry at the same time. Other expla- 
nations will be found fully set forth in the plan. 

It should be observed that these stables are modern. The 
last row of boxes was completed in 1880, and the stables gene- 


rally, as a matter of course, are carefully designed and fitted 
with a view to providing everything that long experience of a 
hunting establishment shows to be necessary for the horse's 
comfort and well-being. 

The question of summering the hunter has provoked much 
discussion. Some authorities are all for turning him out, 
others for keeping him in his box, and in the multitude of 
counsellors there is confusion. The old fashion was to turn 
the hunter out for his summer's run, and of this fashion Beck- 
ford was an advocate. 'After a long and tiresome winter,' 
says the accomplished thinker of ' Thoughts upon Hunting,' 
' surely the horse deserves some repose. Let him then enjoy 
his short-lived liberty ; and as his feet are the part that suffer 
most, turn him out into a soft pasture. . . . Can standing in a 
hot stable do any good ? Is it not soft ground and long rest 
that will best refresh his limbs ? I have often remarked that, 
thus treated, they catch fewer colds, have the use of their limbs 
more freely, and are less liable to lameness than other horses.' 
Lawrence, too, the author of an excellent work, is here in 
sympathy with Beckford. He would have every hunter turned 
out ' to enjoy that best of all coolers and alterants, the spring 
grass, the purifying elastic external air and the dew of heaven. 
The holiday of a month or two out of the twelve is a kindness 
we owe to the horse which so dearly earns it.' 

This is exceedingly plausible. No man would deny the 
good hunter that deserved repose and dearly earned holiday 
for which these writers plead ; but the question is whether 
the horse benefits, whether it is best for him, and as a 
necessary consequence, best for his master, that he should be 
thus treated. Beckford, it will be observed, pleads for the soft 
pasture and condemns the hot stables. As already set forth, 
we would have no stable hot ; and with regard to soft pasture, 
where can it always be found during a hot dry summer ? The 
picture of the faithful horse peacefully cropping the grass in some 
pleasant meadow, his feet covered by cool dewy vegetation, is 
a very pleasing one. But as a matter of fact what usually 



happens? The gnats and flies are an unfailing pest, the 
meadow is too often parched and sun-baked. On this surface 
the horse is tormented till, after much stamping, he gallops 
about on the hard ground and too probably lames himself. 
He gets sadly out of condition, as a matter of course, and 
requires extra care and a great deal of time to make him fit, 
when at last he is taken up. There are many objections to 
turning horses out. 

After a very hard season such treatment may at times be 
advisable. As a rule the animal's box is the best place for 
him. His shoes must be taken off, and abundance of good 
litter is required, tan, sawdust, or some other material. If the 
horse be left in his box, with his shoes removed, his food will 
not, of course, be the same as that which he has in the hunting 
season. Three times a day he may have green meat ; and 
5 Ibs. of oats, in two feeds, will be sufficient. When August 
comes, and his period of service is approaching, the green meat 
must be discontinued. A dose of physic may first be given, 
in the shape of a ball containing 4 drachms of aloes, or, in the 
case of an animal of an exceptionally strong constitution, 
5 drachms may be needed. Of oats 10 Ibs. a day may then be 
given, with a liberal allowance of hay cut into chaff. Long hay 
is bad for the horse's wind, though all grooms are fond of 
giving it, partly from ignorance of the fact, and partly, no doubt, 
to save themselves trouble. Every day the horse should have 
an hour and a half of walking exercise. In September we 
are assuming that the horse is not wanted for cub hunting, for 
if he is he must be taken up and conditioned sooner he should 
be walked and trotted for three hours a day, and his allowance of 
oats increased to 12 Ibs. A handful of beans will be an agree- 
able addition. A little meal may also occasionally be given. 
In the Badminton stables a compound called Long's Reading 
Feeding Meal, the manufacture of Mr. Long, a son of the 
huntsman who was for so considerable a time connected with 
these hounds, has been used with good results. If a horse be 
a delicate feeder a little of this meal sprinkled on his corn will 


induce him to eat. The corn may just be damped by flipping 
a little water over it, and four or five ounces of the meal then 

The hard rider can scarcely expect to be carried satisfactorily 
more than three days a fortnight, though a sound horse in good 
condition may be brought out twice a week if not over-taxed ; 
much, of course, depending upon the distance he has to go to 
the meets. The treatment of the horse when he comes in from 
hunting is a matter of the highest importance, for at this time, if 
not properly cared for, harm of a more or less serious character 
can very soon be done in several ways. A little oatmeal gruel 
should first of all be given, but it is a mistake to provide this 
too liberally. A large pailful of this gruel will distend the 
animal and take away his healthy appetite. A gallon is quite 
enough, and then, while he is being dressed, a little hay will 
keep him occupied and be welcome. In most stables a 
horse's legs are washed when he comes in ; but though this 
may often do no harm, and in many cases dees none, it is 
very much better not to wash the legs at all. They should 
be thoroughly brushed and rubbed, and may then judiciously 
be wrapped in flannel bandages. Twenty-five years ago every 
horse at Badminton was washed with warm water when he 
came in from hunting, and mud fever all over the animals' legs, 
bellies, and backs was hardly ever absent from the stables. A 
remedy, or rather a means of prevention, was sought ; dry 
brooms, wisps, and hand rubbing were tried ; and since the 
adoption of this system, even in the wettest seasons, there has 
been no case of the fever. The experience of so long a period, 
and complete freedom from what was previously a standing 
plague, must be held to prove the efficacy of the plan. Equally 
beneficial results are reported from very numerous quarters 
where the practice of washing has been abandoned. 

It is difficult to make white legs look quite clean without 
using water, but if they must be washed the job should be 
left till next morning, when they are cool the legs having, 
of course, been treated as already described when the horse 

H 2 

ioo HUNTING*. 

comes home. The dry flannel bandages mentioned above are 
for horses that return to their stables with no symptoms of heat 
about them. If the legs are hot, bandages should be put on 
wetted with vinegar and water in equal parts. The value of 
the cold water bandage is increased by the admixture of vinegar, 
which has at once a cooling and hardening effect. 

Anything in the nature of a cut or over-reach should be 
carefully looked for and promptly treated. The wound of an 
over-reach may be made by the toe, or the inner edge of the 
hind shoe, which latter is often very sharp, and the injury, a 
combination of cut, tear, and bruise, will speedily produce 
inflammatory symptoms if neglected. The wound should in the 
first place be carefully washed out with warm water, and a lin- 
seed poultice then applied. When it is healing a little tincture 
of myrrh may be used. It must by no means be assumed, 
however, that the above treatment is suitable for all wounds to 
the legs, such as broken knees. For such cases, and in every 
case where a joint is injured, threatened, or affected, poulticing 
is the worst course that could possibly be followed, and almost 
surely productive of serious evils. It is not our purpose to 
write a book on veterinary science. Injuries to joints, or par- 
ticularly deep wounds, are beyond the stableman's province. 
Veterinary aid should be sought, and the owner should be 
exceedingly careful whose services he employs. Not a few stable 
practitioners are, or until lately were, accustomed to fall into the 
very error against which we are now cautioning readers. They 
poulticed and fomented injuries to a joint, the result being to 
destroy its vitality and insure permanent weakness or lameness. 
Modern treatment of such cases is purely antiseptic. The 
nature of a hunter's work renders it very probable that he will 
be occasionally punctured by thorns, such punctures being a 
frequent cause of lameness and swellings. The extraction of 
the thorn is of course the first thing to be done, and if it cannot 
be found, though it is known to be there, veterinary aid should 
be procured. If the thorn be in the forearm there may be 
danger of its working to the knee. Blisters may be necessary ; 


but unless there are men of long experience about the stable, 
such cases had better be confided to the veterinary surgeon. It 
is not easy to be too careful. 

That some horses have a predisposition to various diseases 
is almost too much a matter of course to be mentioned, but it is 
equally true that disease usually arises from neglect or mistaken 
treatment. It is a not unfrequent boast with many men that 
they have not had a veterinary surgeon in their stable for 
long periods. They do not always say, and doubtless do not 
always recognise the fact, that their horses would often have 
been cured of ailments more surely and speedily if the best 
medical advice had been obtained. Most grooms think that 
they can perform a number of operations which they are totally 
incompetent to perform, partly from want of practice and 
partly from ignorance of the horse's anatomy and of the real 
objects and effects of the treatment they endeavour to follow. 
In serious cases, or cases which threaten to become serious, 
it is best to obtain skilled advice ; but at the same time there 
are many simple cures which any experienced stableman can 
accomplish, especially if he really understands the cause of the 
illness or injury. With many diseases of the feet as a rule 
the consequences of bad shoeing the groom can deal. We 
cannot do better than summarise the very clear and effective 
remedies prescribed by Mr. Digby Collins in his work, ' The 
Horse Trainer's Guide,' for those comparatively simple diseases 
for which veterinary aid need not be sought. There is usually 
one right method and many wrong methods of treatment for 
every ailment, and these are perhaps nowhere more tersely and 
lucidly summed up than in the book named. 

Corns are the result of pressure on the sole of the foot, whereby 
the blood-vessels are ruptured, giving rise to a morbid secretion, 
which, if allowed to continue, will render the corn well-nigh in- 
curable. The treatment will consist in removing the pressure and 
stimulating the sole to secrete a healthy deposit of horn, by means 
of the application of oil of turpentine and spirits of wine equal 
parts of each, after having cut out the corn with the buttress. 

This dressing should be applied fcr three consecutive days, 


when the horse should be shod with a leathern sole of the strongest 
hide, and the hoof should be stuffed with tow, saturated with the 
above dressing. This will enable the horse to resume moderate 
work without injury to the corn. Corns most frequently arise 
from shoes being left on too long, whereby the inner heel of the 
shoe works in and presses on the sole between the crust and the bars. 

Sandcrack consists in a separation of the fibres of the hoof, 
owing to a want of gelatinous secretion. The treatment should 
consist in cutting the edges of the cracks with a knife until the 
crust is thinned so as to be flexible ; a poultice should then be ap- 
plied for two days ; after which the whole crust must be dressed with 
some stimulating application, which should be continued for some 
months. The best ointment consists of equal portions of grease 
and oil of turpentine for the first month, after which the turpen- 
tine should be considerably diminished. The horse should have his 
shoes removed. entirely, and be put to stand on a deep bed of tan, 
fresh from the tanner's yard. Tan can be procured anywhere, and 
is the only proper material for litter when the hoof is thus diseased. 

Thrush proceeds from various causes, but inflammation of the 
frog is the immediate cause. Some horses have very soft frogs, 
which will become diseased by the application of cow dung as a 
stopping, and contact with straw saturated with urine, which causes 
irritation to the sensitive frog, and this contracts a diseased secre- 
tion which exudes through the cleft of the frog. If allowed to go 
on this will assume an ulcerative form, which will most probably 
terminate in canker. This kind of thrush is best treated by care- 
fully avoiding the exciting cause, by strict attention to providing 
dry litter, as well as by applying a lotion consisting of 2 scruples 
of chloride of zinc to the half-pint of water, three times daily. 
When thrush results from plethora, cooling diet and alteratives 
should be given, and the frog dressed with common tar; and if the 
secretion does not abate, the chloride of zinc lotion should be tried. 

When either fever in the feet or navicular disease gives rise to 
thrush, the cleft of the frog must be left free, and the exciting causes 
treated as recommended hereafter. A horse with a thrush should 
not be ridden without knee-caps ; for if he bruise the frog, he will 
generally fall and cut his knees severely. 

Quittor consists in an internal abscess of the foot, forming in 
sinuses. The parts surrounding the os coronas are generally en- 
larged and puffy, and hot and tender to the touch, followed, unless 
relieved, by a bursting of one of the abscesses at the superior border 


of the hoof, from which an offensive and rather thin discharge 
exudes. The treatment should consist in liberal but not heating 
food ; but on the whole, as this disease may require delicate opera- 
tions, it should be professionally treated. 

Navicular disease, and nearly every kind of foot lameness laid 
to the charge of this disease, consists in : first, inflammation of 
the synovial capsule of the navicular joint, resulting from inflamma- 
tion of the perforans tendon, which passes under the navicular, and 
is attached to the pedal bone. It is met with in the very best and 
strongest-looking feet, and the degree of lameness occasioned by it 
is very variable. When ulceration occurs the synovial capsule is 
absorbed, and the tendon comes into contact with the bone. The 
horse will usually rest the affected foot when standing at his ease. 
He will be much more lame on leaving than on returning to the 
stable, the friction of the parts giving rise to a temporary secretion 
of synovia. When the disease is at all advanced, all treatment 
will be hopeless ; but, in the early stages of the disease, bleeding 
at the toe, followed by emollient poultices, will be found beneficial, 
when combined with rest in a roomy and cool box, well littered 
with fresh tan. This disease is easily distinguished from laminitis 
by the horse ' walking' perfectly sound. A hunter or steeplechaser 
affected with this disease need not be despaired of, as such horses 
will go over soft ground perfectly well and soundly. Only they 
should be ridden to and from cover at a pace not exceeding a walk. 
Indeed, on a road, no horse affected with navicular disease should 
be ridden at a greater speed than a walk, since more or less pain 
will be occasioned by the concussion. 

Founder, fever in the feet, or laminitis consists in inflammation 
of the laminae and the adjacent parts of the foot. It is caused by 
continued exertion on hard ground, straining the crust beyond its 
poxvers ; but the most frequent cause is an injury to the knee or 
shoulder of the horse, on account of which he is fearful of lying 
down, and thus the continuance of an upright position causes too 
severe a strain of the sensitive laminns. In this case a lengthened 
rest after the cause has subsided, on puddled clay during the day- 
time, with a plentiful litter at night, will be absolutely necessary to 
effect a permanent cure. Where the horse has to continue his 
work, his feet should be placed in two buckets of cool water after 
coming in from exercise, and allowed to remain there so long as 
the horse feels disposed to maintain the same position. Mr. Collins 
states that he has more than once seen horses neigh for the buckets 


and put their feet hurriedly into them of their own accord imme- 
diately they were placed before them. The softening of the hoof 
by water, thereby causing increased pliability of the crust, dimi- 
nishes the pain occasioned by the want 'of room for the expansion 
of the blood-vessels ccnsequent on inflammation. The symptoms 
will be marked by the horse standing with his hind legs in a much 
more forward position than usual, for the purpose of relieving his 
fore feet of their proper proportion of weight. If the foot be felt 
it will be discovered to have an unusual degree of heat, and if 
pressed or squeezed by a pair of pincers an unusual flinching will 
be perceptible. On running him out, the weight will be thrown 
principally on the heels a marked contrast to the symptoms of 
navicular disease, in which the toes are almost the only parts of 
the feet placed on the ground when the horse trots. Bleeding is 
certainly not advisable where the inflammation is not very acute ; 
since it weakens the foot so much that it will be unfit for hard 
work for many weeks afterwards. The food should consist of bran 
mashes and a little hay ; and, although a violent purge should be 
avoided, when the inflammation runs very high, laxatives should 
be freely administered ; the best dose being 2 drachms of emetic 
tartar and half an ounce of nitre, given every day for a week. 

A very common source of trouble arises from cracked 
heels, due generally to overwork in an unfit condition. Glycerine 
or vaseline should be carefully applied to the seat of this very 
painful disease ; this, with liberal diet and abstinence from 
work, will in time effect a cure. 

Swelled legs, another evil from which many horses suffer, 
usually arises from over-work and under-feeding or from work- 
ing animals when they are unfit. The remedy is the removal 
of the exciting causes. 

Colic is of various kinds, and due to various causes, the 
precise nature of which it is most essential to discover. A 
homely but often effective remedy is a quart of warm ale 'con- 
taining a glass of spirits and a tablespoonful of powdered 
ginger. A dose of aloes may be tried if relief is not obtained ; 
'and should the illness still be obstinate, 2 ounces of tincture of 
opium in a pint of water may be administered. If this does 
not bring about a cure it will be well to consult the surgeon, 


ror the animal may be suffering from obstruction, twisted bowel, 
hernia, enteritis or some grave disease. 

For every reason the question of saddling is of the very first 
importance ; that is to say, a well-fitting, well-kept saddle is a 
first essential to the comfort of the horse and his rider. In 
connection with horsemanship we hear much, and most properly, 
of 'hands.' A moment's reflection will show that hands are 
mainly dependent on seat, and seat is greatly influenced by 
saddle. Can there be any doubt of this ? A man firmly, easily, 
and comfortably seated in a chair, can pen the most delicate 
line with great precision. Put him in a jolting carriage, or on 
some insecure and unsteady seat, and he cannot direct his hand 
with accuracy. The same rule applies to seat in the saddle : 
unless it be firm, easy, and comfortable, the nicety of touch on 
the bridle which will ' humour it like a silken thread ' cannot be 
acquired. A firm seat, totally independent of bridle, and to a 
great extent independent of stirrups, is the foundation of all 
good horsemanship. By a well-fitting saddle, it should be added, 
a saddle that fits both horse and rider is meant. 

The choice between plain and padded flaps must be left to 
the discretion of the rider. At Badminton plain flaps are the 
invariable rule. They, no doubt, make the horse's forehand 
look better, and give a freedom to the rider's leg which the 
padded flap does not permit. Men who are accustomed to 
the older fashion usually feel more comfortable, however, with 
this support for the knee. Great care must at all times be 
taken to see that the stuffing is thoroughly dried and free from 
lump. The perspiration which is absorbed into the receptive 
stuffing makes it most necessary that the saddle should be 
beaten and brushed, as well as dried. Neglected saddles are 
a constant source of warbles, sitfasts, and sore backs in 
general, evils which are also very frequently induced by the 
fact of the saddle being too short for the rider, thus bringing 
undue pressure on the cantle. Cold water will generally 
effect a cure, if the sore be taken in time. If it be bad, 
poulticing will relieve and cure the injury, absolute rest being 


of course indispensable ; and in all cases where inflamma- 
tory symptoms show themselves laxative food, green-meat, 
gruel, and bran mashes must replace the allowance of corn. 
It may be added that the fit of a saddle depends upon the 
suitability of the shape of the tree to the back of the horse. 
Excessive stuffing is bad. A man should be as near to his 
horse as possible. 

Into the question of bits we cannot possibly here enter at 
length. It may be briefly remarked, however, that if a bit 
does not seem to be sufficiently severe to stop a horse, one that 
is less severe may wisely be tried. The ordinary double bridle 
is, as a rule, the best for hunting. The sportsman will look to 
his gear before he mounts. Comfort to his horse will mean 
comfort to himself, and he will therefore see that the snaffle lies 
lightly on the bars of the horse's mouth, and that the curb is 
neither inconveniently tight nor too loose to be effectual if wanted. 
There is no lack of severe bits of all descriptions, but the use 
of them generally implies bad horsemanship or bad breaking. 
Severe bits should be the last resource, to be used with the 
utmost caution, and then only by the best riders. 

It was remarked on a former page that whatever is un- 
natural is mischievous, but allowance must be made for the 
circumstance that a horse's life is not such as that which he 
would lead in a state of nature. He would not have to bear 
weight on his back, nor to travel for so many miles at a stretch, 
nor to go on the hard road. Horses, moreover, are not in 
digenous to this climate, and must be shod in order to fulfil the 
duties of modern life. At Badminton the material for the 
shoes is cut from bars of patent iron, which is sold in lengths 
grooved for the reception of nails. The smith cuts off the 
length he requires from the bar and fashions it into the shoe. 
The reckless use of the knife is to be condemned : the exceed- 
ingly and beautifully delicate structure of the hoof forbids it. 
The farrier must take care that the frog comes well down to the 
ground, so as to relieve pressure on the other bearing surfaces 
of the foot, and where a horse has contracted heels, every 


encouragement to expansion must be left. Patent shoes of 
different sorts have been tried at different times, and in peculiar 
cases some of them have perhaps peculiar advantages. For 
hunters and coach horses alike, however, nothing has been 
found to answer better than shoes of this patent iron, carefully 
fitted and fixed. It is desirable that the day before the horses 
go out hunting their shoes should be examined. As a rule 
a set of shoes last rather more than a month, but constant 
attention must be paid to the feet, as corns almost always 
arise from the shoe being left on too long. No competent 
smith need be cautioned to use only the best nails. A prick 
caused by a nail which has divided, part going into the horn of 
the hoof and part into the sensitive portion of the foot, may 
lead to worse than temporary lameness. 

In a large hunting establishment it may be roughly calculated 
that one man can look after three horses. When the animals 
come home from hunting everyone whose services are available 
will lend a hand to dress them down ; three or four men may 
be usefully employed on each horse. It is scarcely necessary to 
remark that grooming must at all times be thorough. More than 
the appearance of a horse's coat depends on this. Unless the 
animal is diligently curry-combed and brushed, scurf will form, 
close the pores of the skin, and affect the horse's health. A 
bright coat, always supposing that it be properly obtained, 
means a bright eye. It is easy to see, by moving a little of the 
hair back and looking at the roots, whether the horse has been 
thoroughly dressed. On first coming home after a hard day 
particular attention should be paid to the horse's ears. Well 
cleaning them seems to afford special relief, and as regards 
the legs, friction has long been recognised as both a cure and 
a preventive of disease. 

In a chapter which is not intended to instruct the stableman 
in the rudiments of his business, but rather to express a pre- 
ference between disputed systems, the questions of clipping 
and singeing need not be discussed at length. It is highly 
desirable that horses should be clipped, for if they were not 


perspiration would accumulate and dry in the long coat, and 
chills, together with other illnesses, would be invited. Many 
years ago a barbarous custom of cropping a hunter's ears was 
in vogue. The objectless cruelty was practised because cropped 
ears were thought to give a game look to a horse, no consider- 
ation being paid to the poor creature's sufferings ; and at that 
period the horse's dock was a matter of very few inches. Happily 
these savage ideas have passed away, and though many bad 
and stupid fashions are revived, it need not be feared that these 
will be among the number. When ear-cropping was common 
it was usual to bleed the hunter before summering him, but 
this absurdity, which must have cost our forefathers dearly, 
since many horses did not survive the practice, is happily un- 
known at the present day. There is, and there always will be, 
something new to be learnt about the horse, as about the man. 
Veterinary science, however, has made such great progress that 
it must be an altogether exceptional case for 'which adequate 
treatment cannot be found, while accurate general knowledge 
is always extending. Horses are no longer bled as they used 
to be at times when their vital forces required to be sustained 
instead of diminished, and a hundred other ridiculous customs 
have vanished. The most invaluable medicines for horses are 
sweet stables, an abundance of sound, wholesome food, sufficient 
exercise, and kind treatment. The horse is not entirely the 
servant but also the friend of his owner, and friendly considera- 
tion is his just due. A man who gives less fails to discharge 
a debt of honour. 




IN a certain romance which most of us, probably, have read 
at some period of our existence, if it has a little passed 
out of memory now in the late Lord Lytton's ' Last of the 
Barons' the old philosopher, Adam Warner, being suddenly 
called upon to apply some simple surgical remedy, of which 
his only knowledge is derived from the book in his hand, 
exclaims in great perplexity, 'But the book telleth me not 
how the lancet should be applied : it is easy to say do this, or 
do that, but to do it once it should have been done before.' 
He who addresses himself to the practical business of the 
Chase, which includes, let it be remembered, a great deal 
more than the mere getting across a country and encompassing 
the death of his game he, we say, who addresses himself to 
this business after having first mastered the written experience 
of others and gained from them such wisdom as he can, will, 
no doubt, buy his own experience cheaper than he who has 
neglected or been unable so to train and prepare himself. 
But he must not think to grow to a Meynell, or an Assheton 
Smith, or an Anstruther Thompson, by books alone. ' Hunting's 
a science, and riding an art.' All arts and sciences have 
their own laws, which those who would practise them must 
learn or abide by the consequences. We must not, therefore, 
be understood to depreciate the value of books, which would, 
indeed, be a most unwarrantable defiling of our nest. Neither 
do we wish to feel our withers wrung by that sly hit of Beck- 
ford's : 'All who have written on the subject of hunting, 


seem to agree in this, at least to speak indifferently of one 
another.' We wish only to guard ourselves against miscon- 
ception, and our readers against disappointment. And so to 
our business. 

As no man would think of buying a pack of hounds who was 
not sure of a place to keep them in, we will begin with the kennel. 
In building a kennel, as has been very pertinently observed, 
there are two capital points to be remembered ; firstly, the means 
of the builder ; secondly, the extent of his hunting establishment. 
The kennels at Goodwood, for example, cost several thousand 
pounds ; those at Woburn have, or had, a frontage of 455 feet. 
On the other hand, kennels sufficient for all practical purposes 
may be built on a much more modest and frugal plan from the 
outhouses and barns that generally form part of the equipment 
of every country gentleman's estate. Beckford, indeed, sneers 
at their economy, though he is by no means wont to recommend 
useless expenditure. ' It is true,' he says, ' hounds may be kept 
in barns and stables ; but those who keep them in such places 
can best inform you whether their hounds are capable of 
answering the purposes for which they are kept.' And he goes 
on to say that, as all our hopes of sport depend on the delicacy 
of our hounds' noses, ' I cannot but suppose every stench is 
hurtful to it.' This is very true. If a pack of the best bred 
and best trained hounds in the world were turned to pig 
together as best they might into some dirty outhouse or 
diseased barn, it is probable they would not long be worth 
much. But on the basis of such buildings kennels may be 
fashioned sufficient to keep hounds in health and comfort, 
which will practically answer all the purposes of Woburn and 
Goodwood, and cost very much less than those princely esta- 
blishments. Still, it is no doubt better, where adequate means 
and space are forthcoming, that the kennel should be a 
building of and by itself. 

But on whatever scale, or after whatever plan it be built, 
there are three essentials to be observed. It must be dry, airy, 
and warm. Sweetness and light are as vital to the proper well- 


being of the hound as we are so often reminded they are to his 
master. Nay, it may be said that, in proportion, they are 
even more so ; for, while some men do certainly in this world 
contrive to get on without them, we are very sure no hound 
can. It must never be forgotten that both the horses and the 
hounds used for the chase are a \ery different sort of animals 
from what they are in their natural state. Their state is one 
not of nature but of art : a highly artificial state. They differ 
as much after their kind from the nag who picks up his living 
off a common, or from the village cur, as their masters differ 
from the Digger Indians, or the aboriginals of the Australian 
bush. The man of civilisation who lives in a damp, ill-drained, 
ill-ventilated house will never be able to do his work properly, 
even if he can get through life at all. And it is the same with 
horse and hound. But extravagance is not an essential to 
hound or horse any more than to man. He who hunts five or 
six days in the week will naturally require a much larger and 
costlier establishment than he who hunts two or three. The 
conditions under which hunting is, one might perhaps say 
must be, now carried on in the Shires will entail a larger out- 
lay than will be found necessary in those less fashionable parts 
of hunting Britain known as the Provinces where, however, 
the sport, if less splendid, is not seldom quite as good. But 
even in the former case economy can be and should be prac- 
tised. Superfluities should be avoided as well as shortcomings, 
and ostentation is in its way as distasteful and as injurious to 
sport as parsimony. Hunting is certainly not an amusement 
to be enjoyed for nothing, or even for very little, whether it be 
enjoyed in the state of a master of hounds, or in the more 
simple capacity of a private individual ; but it may be enjoyed 
for very much less money than is perhaps popularly supposed, 
and certainly is very often expended on it. Not every man 
can go to Corinth ; but it is quite possible for a wise man to 
get a good deal of pleasure less far afield. 

The situation of the kennel is of first-rate importance. It 
should be built, says Somerville, 


Upon some little eminence erect, 
And fronting to the ruddy dawn ; its courts 
On either hand wide opening to receive 
The sun's all-cheering beams. 

And he is right. It should stand on open and rising ground ; 
not in a bleak exposed situation, so that the winds of heaven 
visit it too roughly , but on the other hand, not in a hollow, or 
on low-lying ground, or too much shut in and overshadowed 
by trees. The Ascot Kennels, which have much such a situa- 
tion, and are built moreover on sand with a substratum of bog, 
long suffered from that mortal scourge which among men is 
known as rheumatism, and among hounds as kennel lameness ; 
nor was it till Charles Davis had a false flooring put so as to 
admit a free current of air, that the evil really disappeared. It 
may be here remarked, however, that in very many cases kennel 
lameness is another name for kennel idleness, i.e. want of exer- 
cise in summer and putting hounds to hard work unprepared 
by horse exercise. 

The material of which the kennel should be built, and the 
style of the architecture must be determined, of course, by the 
taste and the purse of the owner. But there is a good deal of 
sense in Beckford's suggestion that it should have ( a neatness 
without, as well as cleanliness within, the more to tempt you to 
it.' For the same reason, he advises it should be as near the 
house as possible. A chorus from a restless pack is, no doubt, 
not an agreeable lullaby, rior is the smell of the boiling house 
the sweetest of perfumes ; but there is a mean in all things, 
and such a measure of distance between the homes of the 
master and his hounds may be contrived as to avoid all un- 
pleasantness to the former, while keeping the latter under his 
supervision. Good servants are, probably, more plentiful now 
than they were in Beckford's time, when the demand for them 
is so much greater, and their rewards so much higher. Never- 
theless, a master who leaves everything to his servants, whether 
in house, kennel, or stable, is not likely to be so well served 
as he who makes it understood that he knows how things 


should be done, and is determined to see that they are so 

When the late Lord Suffield undertook to hunt the Quorn 
country in 1838, his first act was to remove the hounds from 
Thrussington, where Sir Harry Goodricke had quartered them 
a few years previously, to their present kennels at Billesdon. 
He consulted Mr. Smith (not Assheton, though also a ' Tom ' 
Smith), who was then showing good sport in the Craven country, 
as he afterwards did in the Pytchlcy, on the economy both of 
his kennels and stables, and in Mr. Smith's admirable little 
book, ' Extracts from the Diary of a Huntsman,' which every 
fox hunter ought to have by him, the results of the consultation 
may be learned. The precise cost of the work is not stated, 
but we are told it was ' less than half of a previous plan de- 
signed by a first-rate architect,' which would, however, as Mr. 
Smith candidly adds, have been 'a. splendid building.' The 
affairs of such a pack as the Quorn are of course conducted on 
a larger and more liberal scale than every master of hounds 
will either find possible or necessary. But for the interior 
economy of a kennel, Mr. Smith's plan may well serve as a 
model, those who use it of course making such modifications 
as their wants and means will suggest As the book has for 
some years now been out of print, and copies, as we happen to 
know, not very easy to get, we make bold to lay this plan 
before them. 


O Q 

Grass court, inclosed. 



1. Young hounds' lodging room, 16 feet by 20 feet ; paved court, 
18 feet by 20 feet ; also a door opening into an inclosed grass yard. 

2. Hunting pack lodging room, 16 feet by 20 feet ; paved court, 18 feet 
by 26 feet. 

3. Principal lodging room, 16 feet by 20 feet ; paved court, 30 feet by 
34 feet. 

4. Principal lodging room, 1 6 feet by 20 feet ; paved court, 30 feet by 
34 feet. 

5. Covered court before feeding, 14 feet by 20 feet ; at one end a 
cistern to supply the kennel with water ; at the other, a flight of stairs to 
the feeder's sleeping room above. 

6. P'eeding room, 16 feet by 19 feet. 

7. Straw court after feeding, 22 feet by 24 feet. 

8. Hospital for sick hounds, to be near so as to be fed often ; three 
lodging rooms two, 6 feet by 6 feet ; the other, 12 feet by 12 feet and 
court, 20 feet by 12 feet. 

9. Boiling house, 1 5 feet by 20 feet. 

10. Cooler, 3 feet wide. 

11. Coals, 6 feet by 10 feet. 

12. Store room for meal, 15 feet by 27 feet. 

13. Straw house, 15 feet by 21 feet. 

14. Bitch house, 6 feet by 15 feet ; court, 9 feet by 15 feet. 

To this plan Mr. Smith adds the following remarks, which 
are well worth reprinting : 

All the doors, except those on the outside of the kennel, are in 
two parts, which open separately, which gives the opportunity of 
first looking at the hounds, and of seeing that no hound is injured 
on the feet by the door when opened against it. And the feeder 
can see better which hounds require to be fed first, on opening the 
top door. 

The granary for oatmeal is placed for convenience, and to be 
dry, being at the back of the chimney to the boiling house. 

The straw court, after feeding, is so placed, in order that the 
feeder may turn out every hound separately, if desirable, until the 
whole have been fed (this door should be in two, to enable him to 
look them over, and see if any want to be fed again), where they 
remain till he has time to walk them into the adjoining field. This 
is a most desirable acquisition to every kennel, as it keeps the field 
cleaner : and the droppings from the hounds make the straw 

I 2 


valuable to farmers, which is taken from the lodging rooms, and is 
otherwise useless. It is these considerations which make a farmer 
think it worth his while to supply straw for the manure. 

It is also desirable that the hospital for sick hounds should be 
near the feeding room, or they are not attended to as they should 
be, but be kept out of sight. Here the man has only to open the 
top part of the door, and look in, and if a hound is in want he has 
him in at once. This lodging room is divided into three parts in 
case of any doubtful hound, by putting which aside in time, the 
whole pack may often be saved from illness, or, a worse evil still, 
from madness. 

The door out of the young hounds' kennel into the grass yard 
is intended to be open all day long, as it is most desirable that they 
should have room to exercise themselves, when first brought home 
from their walks, before they are under command, while by con- 
stantly taking them to be fed they soon come to. The time they 
are brought home is generally during the season when the men 
have not time to take them out, even if under command, which 
makes it so necessary for them to have a grass plot, inclosed, to run 
over : and often prevents distemper going through the whole lot, 
as is often the case when they are confined close together. 

There are pipes to convey water to every kennel, with a tap 
in each. 

Artificial heat of any sort is to be entirely condemned. The 
system of warming kennels by hot-water pipes is wholly mis- 
chievous and wrong. Plenty of straw or fern should be spread 
on the benches, and the warmth of the hounds' bodies as they 
lie huddled together close to each other will give out sufficient 
heat At no time should the top half of the kennel door be 
quite closed. 

It will be found very useful to have the benches made with 
hinges, as Beckford advises, and hooks in the wall, that they may 
be folded up while cleaning is going on. The necessity for the 
most scrupulous cleanness in every part cannot be too often or 
too strongly insisted on. This cannot be really preserved 
without two lodging rooms. It is bad for the hounds to stand 
shivering outside in the cold, while their one room is being swept 
and washed ; and worse still for them to be kept in the room 
which is being washed. 




A. Lodging Houses. B. Bones Store. C. Larder. D. Meal Houses. E. Store Closet. 
F. Bitch Houses. G. Huntsman's Wash-house. H. Huntsman's J.aunclry. I. Hunts- 
man's Cellar. K. Spare House. L. Stable. M. Dung Yard. N. Hounds' Bath. 
O. Principal Entrance. P. Waggon Entrance. Q. Coals. R. Huntsman's House. 
S. Boiling: House. T. Water Cisterns. V. Kennelmen's Room. W. Water Taps. 
X. Feeding House. Y. Pump. Z. General Entrance. 


The annexed plan of the Badminton kennels will show the 
residence of a five-days-a-week pack. There is probably 
nothing in this which, by the aid of its reference, will not be 
readily understood. The hounds' bath is, it will be seen, placed 
at the entrance to the kennels. It slopes down one side and 
up the other, and through this every hound is driven when he 
comes home from hunting, or from taking his walks in the park, 
which he does two or three times daily. Some authorities have 
filled their baths full of pot liquor instead of water, and Long, 
who formerly hunted the Badminton hounds, used to set one of 
his men to splash pot liquor over the hounds as they ran through, 
the object being to make the animals lick each other, for the heal- 
ing properties of the tongue are considerable, and slight wounds 
caused during the day's work are thus benefited. Without this, 
however, hounds will always lick as they lie on their benches, 
the food which they sprinkle over their bodies while at the 
troughs helping to induce the habit. 

We may also here give a sketch plan and explanation of one 
of these converted kennels which Beckford seems to condemn 
altogether, and which, in his time, no doubt deserved to be 
condemned. Had he seen the one here described he would 
have written differently. The work was done cheaply, without 
plans or specifications, by local men. 

The original building was a long potato house, a granary, and a 
wall, besides a yard. The building was tiled, but the tiles were 
removed and the roof thatched, thatch being warm in winter and 
cool in summer ; the floor was levelled with rough stones, broken 
brickbats, &c., the whole concreted and made smooth on the surface, 
with a good slope from back of lodging room right through to out- 
side fence of yard ; a surface grip in concrete along outside fence of 
yard running through all the yards to a drain outside the yard at 
end, then conveyed through glazed pipes to the river. The height of 
fence outside and round the yards is about 8 feet, 6 feet closely 
boarded, 2 feet paled, and the same round grass yards. The alley 
outside 4 feet broad with an outside railing 4 feet 6 inches high. 
The alley is very useful as hounds can be taken from top yard to 
feeding room without going through the other yard, especially for 



03 Q3 



young hounds if they bolt out of yard they are stopped by alley fence. 
The beds for hounds are made of deal, two in each lodging house, 
74- feet long by 5 feet wide, made to fit with length of kennel. They 
work on hinges, so that they can be chained up to back wall when 
cleaning out. The floor of lodging room is a wooden latticed 
flooring of deal to prevent hounds lying on damp or cold floor, a 
fruitful source of rheumatism. Two coppers, one for flesh and one 
for meal pudding, are shown in plan, together with coolers, feeding 
troughs, c. There is a loophole at the end of whole range of building 
so as to let a top current of air right through. The top kennels are 
quite new and a little larger. The grass yard is half gravel and 
half grass. At the top of the old wall on the north side a paling 
to heighten it has been erected. The kennels face South, top 
kennels about South-East by East. The young hounds are gene- 
rally kept in the top new kennels ; the old ones in the lower, dogs 
and bitches being divided. The granary floor and walls half-way 
up were boarded to keep the meal from getting damp doorways 
are 2 feet 10 inches wide all through. The cottage at end was 
there when the kennels were made, and now kennelman and two 
whips live in it. The water supply is from a cistern which is filled by 
horse-power from the river and laid on into all places. In each yard 
is a trough of cast iron raised on two or three bricks. The other 
part of the original ofthand farm consisted of a barn, a long shed 
and outbuildings now converted into the following : Two small 
kennels, one for sick hounds, one for bitches which it may be 
desirable to separate from the pack, and coal house. The barn was 
converted into a capital stable with a floor made of cement as in 
kennels, but ribbed for water ro run off into surface drains. A long 
row of buildings of the same height as kennels were made into a 
forge, a place to shoe horses, a hay and straw room, a corn 
room, a sleeping and mess room for stable helpers, a harness room, 
a washing room with coppers for hot water. As to the cost, both 
included : 

* d. 
Converting old shed, and making yard into kennels .158 7 6 

Fittings, &c 56 5 6 

Top kennels . . . . .111130 

3 2 6 6 o 

The stables c. &c. cost about yoo/. Two nice houses for hunts- 
men and stud groom cost about 6oo/. the pair. It is necessary to 
have a meat house for dead horses well ventilated. A new one was 


put up just outside the range of buildings at a small cost. Every- 
thing in these cases naturally depends upon the convenience to be 
utilised, but the above will at least convey an idea. The only fault 
of the arrangement is the meal house, F, being so far from the boil- 
ing house, D. 1 

The kennels having been so far considered, we turn to the 
question of their occupants. A hound's life, for working pur- 
poses, is short. He begins to hunt as a puppy of some eighteen 
months ; if all goes well with him he is perhaps in the plenitude 
of his power at the age of four, that is, in his third season ; he 
may last two or three seasons longer. Hounds have been known 
to run at the head of the pack even in their seventh season ; 
the judgment of their breeders in such a case is amply proved. 
After their fourth or fifth season hounds usually begin to fail. 
They do not tire, if of a good sort, but the pace bothers them ; 
they are not so forward as of yore, though they still keep with 
the pack and trot home with their sterns up. Every pack 
must, therefore, be recruited annually, in proportion, as nearly 
as circumstances admit, to the strength of the establishment. 
About six and a half couples are sufficient for one pack, but 
ten or twelve couples should be put forward and drafted down 
to six and a half of the best after cub hunting. How then 
should hounds be bred so as to maintain the needful supply cf 
puppies from which to replenish the pack ? 

The breeding of hounds, perhaps even more than the 
breeding of horses, is a lottery. This is partly so because 
more varied qualities are necessary in a hound than in a horse. 
The latter we are now speaking of thorough-bred horses, to 
which in this consideration hounds can only be compared 
fulfils the chief object of his being if he can gallop and is 
sound ; but the hound must possess nose, stoutness, speed, 
courage, and a number of valuable qualities which may be 
briefly summed up under the head of intelligence. If a hound 

1 We are indebted for this information to the courtesy of Mr. Archibald 
Ruggles-Brise, lately master of the East Essex hounds, the establishment here 
described. With the one single exception noted, nothing could be more ser- 
viceable and convenient than these kennels and stables, and very cheap. 


be handsome so much the better, of course ; but the best 
hound is the one that works best, not the handsomest. There 
is something particularly pleasing to the eye in the sight of a 
level, symmetrical pack. To breed a pack of hounds, perfect 
alike in appearance and in work, is, however, the labour of a 
lifetime. Nose and stoutness are the two things which the 
breeder of hounds should first of all seek to obtain, and ex- 
perience shows that no two attributes are more distinctly here- 
ditary. The beginner, therefore, especially in a small kennel, 
should disregard all ideas of pleasing his eyes and breed ex- 
clusively from the best nosed and stoutest hounds of both sexes, 
irrespective of size and appearance. 

The generative powers of the dog are retained in their full 
strength longer than those of the bitch. A promising dog may 
begin his duties as a sire in his first season, he is usually at his 
best in his third. The bitch cannot be hopefully trusted to pro- 
duce a serviceable progeny after she is six years old. That the 
parents should be in perfect health is before all things essential. 
If the bitch suffers from any ailment during the period of her 
pregnancy her produce is likely to be affected. The state of 
the weather when the whelps are born and during the first three 
or four months of their lives has an immense influence on their 
future stoutness, usefulness, and soundness. Under the most 
favourable conditions the litter will consist of seven or eight 
nearly twice as many have been known, but this is a misfortune. 
A young bitch will bring up about four puppies comfortably to 
herself and with benefit to them. If she is three or four years old 
she may bring up five, but much depends upon whether she is 
a good milker and a good mother. How the breeder is to 
make his choice which to leave with her and which to take is 
a matter that must be left to his discretion, but if the puppies are 
from specially good parents on both sides it is desirable to get a 
sheep dog or spaniel wet-nurse to bring up three or four of the 
puppies beyond those which the mother is capable of Suckling. 

Masters usually have prejudices about colour, preferring 
generally dark hounds to light. The mother's prejudices are 



not safe guides, as she may devote herself chiefly to the 
weakest of her progeny. An idea prevails that light-coloured 
hounds have weak constitutions, and some suppose them to be 
worse tempered than their darker brethren ; but this is a base- 
less theory, for some of the stoutest and best hounds ever seen 
have been light-coloured. The points of a whelp can, however, 
be but faintly discerned if they can be perceived at all, so that 
on the whole colour must be the guide. 

The mother should suckle her whelps for six or seven weeks 
according as her milk lasts. When weaned their food should 


be the best oatmeal (neither barley nor wheat should ever be 
given to hounds), and dog biscuit, mixed in cow's or goat's 
milk, with just enough soup horseflesh soup to make it 
warm. This should be given them twice a day, and in addi- 
tion, for the first few days after they cease to suckle, about half 
a pound of parboiled horseflesh chopped up into mince. When 
two months old this meat may be given them raw. It is 
desirable that the puppies should be born in February. The 


young things thrive in the early spring as they do at no other 
time of year, and experience shows that puppies so born grow 
into the best hounds. 

When the mother is about to whelp, she is taken at Badmin- 
ton to the bitch and puppy houses, of which drawings are 
given. The kennel at the back of each little run closes with 
a door divided into two parts, over the bottom half of which 
the mother can easily pass to and from her puppies. Gates, as 
will be seen in the elevation, shut in each run, so that the little 
creatures cannot stray, and the roof comes right over so as to 
afford shelter. The divisions between the half-dozen little 
yards are movable, and thus the puppies can have a fair-sized 
run if the divisions are taken away. The mother, it will be ob- 
served, can be shut in if necessary, ventilation being provided 
over every door. That a good bed and an abundant supply of 
food must be given to the mother is too obvious to need 

About May, when three or four months old the period 
must be judged by the growth and condition of the animals 
puppies are ready to be sent to their walks, where they remain to 
be tended at the discretion of their temporary masters till the 
following spring. Those that find quarters at a dairy farm are 
well placed, but during this year of their lives the puppies are 
usually well cared for. Often, indeed, they return to their 
kennels as fat as pigs going to market, and this is bad ; a few 
are perhaps on the other hand thin and poor, owing to the 
ignorance or carelessness of those with whom they have been 
living, and such puppies are generally very shy and wild. 

Their childhood is now over, and the serious business of 
life begins. They must be brought by degrees to be as other 
hounds are ; but as different puppies have been differently treated 
during the past year at their various homes, some are much 
longer than others before they accept the food and discipline of 
the kennel. Puppies often take to kennel food at once, others 
are some days, occasionally some weeks, before they eat with 
relish. The food supplied to them is much the same as that 



I -: 

S- < 



which they had when they were first weaned. Putting milk on 
the top of the food in the trough will often induce those 
who do not take kindly to their new table of dietary to lap 
it up. 

They are to be fed twice a day at first, once a day afterwards 
when they display good appetite, the delicate feeders being 
drawn in for a few mouthfuls a second time. It is very neces- 

Bringing Hounds into Feeding Room. 

sary to consider these delicate feeders, which are to be found 
in all establishments. Even when they have begun to work they 
will digest their food better, and consequently be better, if they 
are fed twice a day. Coarse oatmeal some twelve months old 
is the only proper grain for hounds. 

One great reason for keeping the puppies temperate in the 
matter of diet and for giving them due exercise on their 


return to the kennel, is that distemper, the curse of all 
kennels, is likely soon to attack them. It is far better that they 
should have it now than some months hence. In all probability 
if they escape for the time being, the disease will take them 
in the following February when they are in good work, and then 
they have it, as a rule, much more severely. If they do not die 
the master loses their work for the rest of the season, and they 
are thrown back, so that it is more convenient to get it over. 
The severity and even the nature of distemper varies so much 
from year to year, that it is impossible to suggest any specific 
cure. One year it attacks the lungs, and is then very fatal, 
particularly if the yellows (jaundice) is a symptom. Another 
year it goes to the head, when blindness, violent bleedings 
at the nose, discharge of matter, and other troubles ensue. 
Often the hound looks as if he were dead, being utterly 
unable to stand. Distemper occasionally affects the limbs 
with fearful twitchings, from which in some cases the hounds 
never recover, that is to say, these symptoms never wholly dis- 
appear. Hounds thus affected have seemed so well in other 
respects that a few years ago in the Badminton kennels it was 
determined to see whether they would stand a day's work, and 
it was found that some of those which never lost this result of 
the disease could run up with the best and stand the longest and 
hardest days. Distemper appears to be especially fatal to the 
finest, strongest, and best young hounds. Sucking puppies if 
attacked are hardly ever known to survive. The master is 
powerless to avert the disease. Many people vaccinate their 
hounds as a preventative, but though few sane men doubt the 
efficacy of vaccination as a safeguard against small-pox, it can 
have no effect against distemper in a hound, a disease of a 
totally different character. Mr. F. Gillard, huntsman to the 
Duke of Rutland at Belvoir, has compounded a medicine which 
is perhaps as good as any that can be used, but it will be found 
much more efficacious in some seasons than in others on account 
of the various methods in which hounds are affected in different 
years. Much also depends on the weather, a long spell of 



bitter east wind in March or April is to be dreaded by the 
master whose hounds are down with distemper. 

Life in the kennels may be best described by a brief account 
of a day's proceedings during the hunting season. Desirable as 
it is to exercise the puppies when they come in, it is almost 
impossible when the hunting is going on, except perhaps in a 
two-days-a-week country ; but if the kennel staff is strong 
enough, one man can lead out for an hour or more three 

Hounds feeding. 

couples at the time, with three cords or straps, one to each 

The hounds' day passes as follows : 

As soon as it is light, in winter and summer, the kennel 
huntsman opens the kennel doors and takes his charges 
out for a walk for a quarter of an hour or so, and in their 
absence the room is cleaned and fresh bedding supplied. The 
troughs have meantime been filled; and if it is the hunting 
season, those hounds which are not going out are fed as soon 
as possible. This will be about seven o'clock in winter. Having 



eaten their daily meal, they are again turned out, and then left 
to themselves till about ten o'clock, when they have another run-, 
and again about four, at which time a few delicate feeders, if 
there be any in the pack, as is almost invariably the case, are 
allowed a little more food. The pack which is going to hunt 
is of course not fed till it comes home. Then after running 
through the bath three or four times, as described, they are 
called to the troughs. The huntsman will of course look care- 

Hounds after having been fed. 

fully to note any signs of lameness or injury. Thorns in the 
hounds' legs and feet are naturally frequent, scratches and tears 
are also common, and these are treated, when the thorns have 
been extricated, with a little tincture of myrrh, which may also 
usefully be applied to hot bruised feet. 

In the summer-time hounds should be taken out four times 
a day, and permitted to play and lie about under the trees. 
They will scratch into the ground for pig nuts, and eat not only 
grass but earth. The huntsman should put on a pair of 




rough horsehair gloves, with which to rub their backs as they 
go near him, a proceeding which is obviously pleasant to the 
hounds. In summer they will need a little water, which they 
do not want in winter, except indeed when they are hot after 
hunting, and then they must not have it ; the moisture of 
their food suffices. 

Exercising Hounds on the Road. 

As the hunting season approaches hounds, like horses, must 
be conditioned. The huntsman and whips now mount and 
trot the packs about, six or eight miles at first, and longer 
distances as they become more fit to go. A good deal of the 
work should be done on the roads, for the purpose of hardening 
the hounds' feet 


Of late years one or two masters have abandoned the 
custom of rounding the puppies' ears. Most of the operations 
which are performed on animals are equally stupid and cruel. 
There was a time when even a hunter's ears were cropped, 
thus giving the flies and gnats special facilities for tormenting 
him. But rounding puppies is desirable, for the reason that 
their long drooping ears would be continually torn and wounded 
by thorns and briars in the thick undergrowth, into which the 
foxhound has to force his way, as well as in the hedges, 
through which he must also scramble. Many huntsmen are of 
^pinion that rounding has a good effect in certain cases of 
distemper, though Beckford lays it down that ' dogs must not 
be rounded all the time they have the distemper upon them ; 
the loss of blood would weaken them too much.' 

At Badminton the young hounds are taken out in their 
couples among the deer in the park, and soon learn to take no 
notice of them. Obedience is before all things necessary in 
the kennel, and it is not only possible, but in the highest 
degree desirable, to secure this by the voice. The whip 
should be rather a symbol of authority than a weapon of 

Of the perfect hound it is not easy to better Somerville's 
description : 

See there, with countenance blythe, 
And with a courtly grin, the fawning hound 
Salutes them cow'ring ; his wide op'ning nose 
Upwards he curls, and his large sloe-black eyes 
Melt in soft blandishments and humble joy : 
His glossy skin, or yellow pied, or blue, 
In lights or shades, by Nature's pencil drawn, 
Reflects the various tints : his ears and legs 
Fleckt here and there in gay enamel'd pride, 
Rival the speckled pard ; his rush-grown tail 
O'er his broad back, bends in an ample arch, 
On shoulders clean upright and firm he stands : 
His round cat feet, straight hams, and widespread thighs 
And his low drooping chest, confess his speed, 
His strength, his wind, or on the steepy hill 

K 2 

1 32 HUNTING, 

Or far extended plain ; on every part 
So well proportioned, that the nicer skill 
Of Phidias himself can't blame thy choice. 
Of such compose thy pack. 

The poet's demand, that he shall stand ' upright and firm ' 
is wise. He must be straight on his legs ; ' the \videspread 
thighs ' imply a powerful back and loins, that, in fact, the hound 

A good hound (from a picture in the possession of His Grace 
the Duke of Beaufort, K.G.) 

is 'good to follow.' The shoulders, besides being ' clean/ must 
be well sloped. A flat-sided hound is sure to be a bad-winded 



one. Speed and strength alike call for great length from hip. 
to hock, and as little as possible from hock to foot. As for the 
size of the hound's head, that is the best size which is oftenest 
well to the fore on the line of the fox. 

The animal chosen as an example of what a hound should 
be is the Badminton Potentate, a dog which, born in 1840, 
did notable service in the hunting field for eleven seasons, and 
has transmitted his own sterling qualities to successive gene- 
rations. He is one which the man in search of a hound 

A bad hound. 

will do well to carry in his eye. He died in 1851. As a 
contrast to him the picture of a bad hound is given, his de- 
fects being purposely emphasised in order that they may at 
once strike the observer. Such a nightmare of a hound is 
not to be discovered in any hunting field, but by a course of 
injudicious breeding he might conceivably be produced. From 
head to stern he is all that a hound should not be. His shape- 
less head is joined by a thick neck to a shockingly clumsy pair 
of shoulders, which have no liberty of action about them. His 


legs are weak and crooked ; he has the reverse of those ' round 
cat feet ' which Somerville properly desires. He is flat-sided 
and slack in the loins ; his stern is badly put on in the wrong 
place, and there is a total lack of muscle in his lean and long- 
drawn thighs. 

The expenses of a pack of hounds naturally depend upon 
the number of days per week that the master hunts, and the 
number of hounds that it is therefore necessary to keep. In 
the Badminton kennels there are, as a rule, about 75 couples, 
and this provides i8j or 20 couples five days a week. For a 
pack which hunts four days a week, 52 couples will suffice. The 
t\vo-days-a-week man will be well found with 28 couples, or, if 
he does not breed, 23 couples will be enough. 

The annual consumption of 75 couples includes about 40 
tons of oatmeal, 3 tons of dog biscuit, and 150 horses. Great 
care should be taken in selecting the meal. It should be 
bought before the new oats are harvested. Once placed in 
the meal room, it must not be moved or it will ferment. If it 
be possible to obtain damaged navy biscuits nothing is better. 
Some makers are grossly careless, and their manufacture has a 
deleterious effect on the hounds. A two-days -a- week pack will 
consume about 13 tons of oatmeal, i ton of dog biscuits, and 
50 horses. Prices vary. Oatmeal ranges from io/. to i8/. 
per ton ; biscuit is about ~i$l. per ton, and horses may gene- 
rally be had from i/. to 55. and less. They are difficult to 
get about harvest time, and the supply seems scanty near the 
large towns when sausages are in season ! 

The servants immediately connected with the kennels 
include the kennel huntsman, a feeder, who unites the office 
of butcher and cook, and a couple of lads. Of the duties of 
hunt servants, however, we shall proceed to speak in the next 





THIS is a subject most difficult to treat on paper. The natural 
answer that would be given to an inquirer, by anyone of long 
experience in the hunting field, would be, ' If you would learn 
the business of a huntsman go and hunt with one of good 
repute, and exercise all your intelligence and common sense in 
explaining to yourself the why and the wherefore of the various 
things you observe him do.' 

Our Library being intended for the use of beginners in 
various sports and pastimes, we must, however imperfectly, try 


to give to such a one, if he seeks it, sufficient information to 
enable him to commence his career as a huntsman, and leave it 
to his natural aptitude to perfect him after experience in the 

A resident in our colonies or in a foreign country, where 
no hounds are kept, would be naturally dependent on books 
for instruction, and to him, therefore, are these lines specially 
addressed. An aspirant to fame as huntsman resident in 
the United Kingdom or Ireland may be recommended to 
follow the advice already suggested. 

The huntsman having made himself well acquainted with 
his hounds, and they having got to know him, sallies forth 1 from 
his kennel, his object being to find a fox. Should he be draw- 
ing an open country, he should draw directly up the wind or 
with a good cheek wind. The pace at which he draws should 
be regulated by the thickness of the stuff through which hounds 
have to go, whether it is gorse, heather, bracken, fern, or the 
rushy materials and myrtle that grow on bogs. And here let 
me remark that there is no place in an open country where 
a fox is so likely to be found as a bog. Water rats, moor hens, 
ducks, and mice, all favourite articles of food, are there in 
abundance ; there are generally high dry tussocks of strong 
rough grass, and on these he makes a warm dry bed. Often a 
fox is found a hundred to a hundred and fifty yards away from 
the bog, he having made his bed in a thick patch of short gorse 
within easy reach of his larder. One of the prettiest sights to 
a lover of hunting is to note this up-wind or cheek-wind draw. 
You will observe some hounds quietly pass on, drawing and 
sniffing at the bushes by which a fox has passed during the 
night, and you will suddenly see one hound to whom a whiff 
has come put his nose up into the air, sniff, and going first 
right then left, finally make his mind up whence comes this 
scent. He will follow it patiently as it gets stronger and 
stronger, leave the bog and go a hundred or a hundred and 
fifty yards to a thick bed of gorse or bramble. He will go 
all round it, losing the scent when he gets the up-wind side 


of the thicket. Returning down wind he catches it again, and 
after sniffing and poking about some little time will suddenly 
throw his tongue loudly and dash into the break ; and out will 
go the fox. I quote this that the aspiring huntsman may 
understand the necessity of giving his hounds time when draw- 
ing. I have several times in my life seen this occur just as I 
have described it. 

In an open country to draw down wind means to get a bad 
start with your fox, for even those that have never been hunted 
will be very apt to move and be off, and one that knows what 
hounds are is sure to take the hint very quickly. Should the 
country be an inclosed one and the coverts large, the same rule 
as to drawing up wind applies. Here the huntsman should be 
very particular about regulating the pace of his horse by the 
pace at which the hounds can travel whilst drawing for their 
fox. Should the covert be hollow a good brisk trot is necessary, 
but if it is a real fine thick covert the huntsman cannot go too 
slowly. It is an advantage, and makes hounds draw better, if 
some of them are ahead of the huntsman. I have often known 
a huntsman put hounds in and trot away, speaking to them all 
the time. After a bit, as the huntsman's voice gets fainter and 
fainter the hounds stop, listen, and instead of going on drawing 
come out into the ride and trot up it after the huntsman ; and 
in this way often miss a fox. In a woodland a huntsman 
should be rather noisy than quiet, make good use of his voice, 
and occasionally blow a single note on his horn. It is a judi- 
cious course, and makes hounds much livelier, if the huntsman 
only uses a single note when no fox is on foot, but ' doubles 
his horn ' when a fox is found ; the difference in the way 
hounds move to it is extraordinary. The horn may be advan- 
tageously used in case of hounds running riot (hunting a hare 
or any wrong game), or taking the scent heelways of a fox. 
A screech or, as perhaps it may be called, discord blown on 
the horn will stop them more quickly than the cry of 'ware 
heel ! ' The ear of a hound or dog is very sensitive, and he 
dislikes the discord. The screech may also be used in covert 


by the huntsman if he comes upon hounds eating carrion, or 
finds a litter of cubs in a hollow tree or stool, and wants his 
whipper-in to assist him and drive the hounds away. It should 
be understood that when he is sitting still and blowing discords, 
the whipper-in or some of the field should go to him. 

In large woodlands the huntsman should draw everything, 
and closely, as otherwise he may leave a fox in some unlikely 
corner. When the coverts are small they should be drawn 
down wind, to avoid the chance of chopping a lox. A few 
cracks of a hunting whip or a gentle touch or two on the horn 
should put a fox on his legs, and the down-wind side being 
kept clear of horse and footmen he should have a chance of 
going away. One of the most annoying things in hunting is 
the chopping of foxes. If small coverts are near together and 
they have to be drawn down wind, some quick-eyed servant of 
the hunt, or some keen and observant sportsman who can be 
trusted, should be sent on down wind. He must conceal him- 
self so as not to head the fox, and yet be able to command 
a good view of the country. In the event of his seeing a fox away 
he should gallop back and hold his cap or hat up or otherwise 
attract the huntsman's attention. It is no use sitting and 
halloaing down wind with the result of making the fox hurry 
himself whilst the huntsman and field do not hear the halloa. 

Now as to the huntsman's duties when the fox is afoot. 
Having made sufficient noise with voice and horn to get the 
hounds together and keep them together whilst in the woods, 
and also, I often think, to frighten the fox into seeking the open 
country, the huntsman should then subside and be as quiet as 
possible. As to telling a man what he should do when hounds 
come to a check after running hard say, twenty minutes it is 
impossible ; but the first thing to do, if happily no horsemen 
were near them when they checked, is to leave them alone and 
let the hounds swing and cast forward, back and round ; then 
the huntsman must exercise his keenest sense of observation 
and his natural intelligence. Of course, if there is a plough 
team or an old woman sitting on a stile right in front, the pro- 


babilities are that the fox has been turned, and after the hounds 
have tried their best and failed to recover the scent, the 
huntsman must try his hand, but he must always allow the 
hounds to have a good try first In a strange country, and 
where there is nothing to indicate whether the fox has most 
likely turned right or left or straight back, a short cast up the 
wind and a longer one down the wind is not a bad mode of 
solving the difficulty. 

There is one check that beats hounds and the best of 
huntsmen, and that is when the fox not having been turned 
hounds check on his line. That very mysterious and little 
understood thing, scent, brings this about at times. It seems 
to float up in the air above the hounds' heads, and when the 
huntsman returns, after ten minutes' vain endeavour to hit of? 
his fox, away go the hounds straight on from the very place at 
which they checked. Another thing that constantly baffles a 
huntsman is when, the fox being ten minutes before the hounds, 
the object that frightened and turned him has passed out of 
.sight before the arrival of hounds and huntsmen. The great 
thing for a huntsman to remember is that the hounds are more 
likely to recover the scent than the huntsman if they only have 
sufficient time given them, and the longer in reason he lets 
them alone the better ; but when once he thinks they have had 
sufficient time the sooner he makes his cast the better. Old 
Goosey, the late Duke of Rutland's celebrated huntsman, used 
to say, ' I take leave to say that a fox is a toddling animal, and 
never stops, and if you are not quick after him you will very 
soon lose him.' On open downs, where there is always a great 
draught, hounds, are constantly blown off the line and want 
their heads just turning up the wind, and then away they go 

A huntsman should keep as near his hounds as he can 
without inconveniencing them, and never be straight behind 
them, otherwise he will drive them when they wish to turn and 
bring them to check. Whilst hounds are running the huntsman's 
eyes should always be well forward. If he has good quick eyes 


he will often see the fox, and will at other times see some 
object that has turned his fox from the point he is running to. 
A sheep or cur dog who has coursed him perhaps. Sometimes 
a shepherd or man with a dog, more truthful than his neigh- 
bours, will say, ' I'm sorry my dog has run your fox up to such a 
point,' but as a rule even when you have seen the dog coursing 
the fox, the dog's master will swear he did not run him. Ex- 
perience has taught me never to ask the man, but to ask the 
dog. If you find him with his mouth shut, you may be satisfied 
he has not run him ; if the dog's tongue is out and he is panting, 
you will know he has run the fox, and then you can ask the 
master how far the dog did run. 

It is a very extraordinary but well-known fact that in nine 
cases out of ten if a fox is coursed by a dog during a run all 
scent ceases afterwards, even when you get your hounds to the 
line of the fox beyond where the dog has been. Scent is one 
of the things ' no fellow can understand,' and this is one of 
the most remarkable phenomena relating to it. Except practice 
and experience and what a huntsman will learn from it, I know 
nothing more that I can say to assist a beginner in his work. 
One remark I may make, and that is, that though to get to 
know the hounds and make them know their huntsman it is as 
well to feed them at first, after you have killed one fox with 
them it is unnecessary, as they will always leave the man who 
feeds for the man who hunts them. Also I strongly advise 
hounds being allowed to eat their fox when they catch him ; 
they should not be knocked about and beaten when the fox 
is taken away to be cut up by the whipper-in. 

Should any beginner try to get a hint from these pages, I 
shall be pleased if these few remarks (which for convenience, 
having so much personal observation to make, I am putting in 
the first person singular) prove of any assistance to him. 




Various and diverse are the ideas of Masters of Hounds and 
Huntsmen as to these duties. The system mostly in vogue now I 
abominate and detest, for which I will presently give my reasons. 
That system is that when there are two whippers-in, on which- 
ever side of the covert each may happen to be, when the fox 
and hounds go away the first whipper-in is to make the best of 
his way to hounds whilst the second is to hang about and halloa 
and bring on any left behind. If he is in time to ' tell ' them and 
sees all are there, of course he comes on, but if he either finds 
that a hound or a ccuple or more are short, or if he has no 
chance of ' telling ' them, he must hang about in case they should 
be left behind. I was brought up under old Bill Long, a man 
of singular intelligence, one who reasoned and turned over 
carefully in his mind all things connected with hunting. He 


used to say to me, ' Hounds are like children, they do not like to 
be left behind, and if they know you will not wait for them they 
bustle to ,et after you ; but if they know you will wait, they 
don't hurry themselves, but they will stop just inside the fence 
peeping at the huntsman and pack waiting, and will not come 
out till they see them moving off (this, of course, when there is 
no fox on foot) ; or if hounds are away with a fox will try and 
do a bit of hunting for themselves, in some independent way ; 
and why ? because they know that some one will come back and 
fetch them.' Bill Long was nineteen years a whipper-in and 
twenty-seven years a huntsman, and first class in both capacities. 
Some years later Tom Clark (who began in Devonshire and 
Hampshire, whipping-in to Captain Howarth who hunted his 
own hounds, and then was in the Shires and eventually hunted 
the Old Berkshire, when kept by the late James Morrell) came 
to me as huntsman, beginning the cub hunting in the season 
1857-1858. He was excellent in the kennel, conditioning the 
hounds well, and giving them real good long summer horse 
exercise, and he could kill a fox in the open or in the wood- 
lands when once found as well as any huntsman I ever saw. so 
that it was a pleasure to hunt with him. He was wonderfully 
cheery and fond of a gallop. I learnt many wrinkles from 
him, enjoyed many a good day's sport, and saw him kill many 
a good fox that would have beaten a less expert huntsman 
than 'Sagacious Thomas.' I think he spoilt my hounds by 
his anxiety to get away for a gallop. He would stop them 
off the fox they were running, and lay them on to another 
that had gone away, so that they lost that excellent quality 
of not changing from one fox to another, which in Bill Long's 
day they had. After a long run if they got to a covert with 
fresh foxes in it they would not change, but stick to and kill 
their own fox. Clark's system of galloping lost them that, and 
they have never recovered it. He was, however, inferior in 
intellect to, and less observant than, Bill Long, would often 
draw over a fox, was proverbially a bad finder of foxes, and his 
system with the whippers-in was bad. In the first place, it was as 


regards going away that which I have above written as the 
prevailing system now. Further, when hounds had run five 
or six miles, if he found a hound away he would send his 
second whipper-in back where do you think to ? Why, to the 
covert the fox had come from. Now, any sportsman of average 
intelligence who thinks of this, will, I dare say, come to the 
conclusion that an hour after hounds have left a covert any 
hounds left, if they were hunting a fox, will have rattled him out 
of covert and no longer be there, or if they were not hunting 
will have set off on the line of the pack, or trotted off home ; 
the last place such hounds are to be found in is the covert you 
have quitted. To this, however, Clark used to send. I positively 
forbad the practice, but it was done when I was not out, and 
sometimes when I was ; but if I saw the whip going I always 
stopped him. I remember on one occasion we had run from 
Great Wood through a very large strong covert of the V.W.H. 
called Webb's Wood. The ground being deep, and the pace very 
severe, the hounds beat us, so it was impossible ' to tell them ' 
away from Webb's Wood through which the fox had gone very 
straight, and we did not discover till we had killed the fox, some 
five miles beyond, that three couple of hounds were away. As 
we were returning into our country to find another fox I saw the 
second whipper-in turn away. ' Where are you going ? ' I asked. 
' To Webb's Wood.' ' Certainly not,' I said ; ' come on with the 
hounds.' Clark was very cross, till I told him that I should con- 
tract with him to find the second whipper-in's horses and then 
perhaps he would be less fond of sending them miles round to 
flounder through the rides of one of the deepest, stickiest clay 
woods in England. I said, ' Keep touching your horn as you go.' 
After we had got back into our country and within a mile of the 
covert we were going to, some three or four miles from Webb's 
Wood, as we were trotting down the towing path of the canal, 
which was our shortest route, there on the path were the 
three couple of absent hounds. How they got there, why 
they were all together, whether they had hunted their fox to 
near there, lost him, or run him to ground, or whether they 


were on their way home and heard the horn and came, I know 
not, and never was able to make out from the country people ; 
but there they were. 

Now Bill Long's system I hold to be correct. Whichever 
whipper-in happened to be on the side the hounds broke 
away had to go with the hounds, and the other one coming 
round or through the covert, making use of his voice and 
holloaing ' Forward,' &c., was to make the best of his way 
after them, being sure to turn round with his face to the covert 
before setting off, and holloaing ' Away,' at the top of his voice, 
so as to insure any straggling hound hearing him ; and then 
he used to come on. Of course, in the event of hounds 
dividing, it would be the duty of whichever whipper-in happens 
to be nearest the smaller lot to do his best to stop them, and 
make them join the body of the pack. I am confident that, 
besides the injury to horseflesh caused by sending back for 
hounds, it tends more to make hounds helpless and slack than 
anything else in the world. All hounds dislike being left 
behind, and all hounds when let alone will find their way home. 
Often have I seen Tom Clark sitting under a covert blowing his 
horn. ' What are you doing there ? ' ' Two couple of hounds 
away.' ' Well, if you sit there for a week they won't come. 
Shog on ! ' and before he had gone three fields I have seen 
them coming at a good pace. 

Whilst hounds are drawing a whipper-in cannot be too 
quiet. If hounds riot and he can get to them to stop them, 
let him do so without making a noise ; if he cannot, then he 
must rate them ; but the more quietly the better. If they take 
a scent heel- ways, the quieter and lower he says ' Ware heel ! ' 
the better. If he is in a big covert watching a straight ride 
let him never turn his head or take his eye off the ride, for 
at that instant a fox will surely cross ; and most particularly 
if he sees him cross, even if he holloas immediately, let him 
not take his eye off the ride for a minute or two, as the re- 
sult of holloaing immediately a fox has crossed a ride often is 
to make him pop back again over the ride, and if he does that 


without being seen it is more than probable he will be lost. 
Certainly it will bring hounds to a long check, and the 
holloa will have done more harm than good. Whippers-in 
when sent on down wind, or to the far end of a covert, are very 
fond of sitting at the exact point of the angle of a covert. Now 
this is a great mistake, for if a fox does not actually break there, 
I believe he generally will go there before breaking to look if 
he can, if there is anyone to observe him, and most certainly to 
listen to what is going on. Some few foxes are bold and do 
not care who sees them, but these are rare, and I fancy are 
strangers out visiting, who, hearing a noise, and, if they have 
been previously hunted, recognising the voice and the horn ot 
the huntsman, think it time to be off home. 

Foxes know the huntsman's voice as well as hounds do 
after they have heard it a few times, and the generality of foxes 
are shy at breaking covert, and hate to be seen. One -small 
child will keep a fox from going, while a regiment of cavalry 
can't prevent his going back again. I say, therefore, let the 
whipper-in hide himself as well as he may, where he can com- 
mand both sides of the angle if possible ; if not on the most 
likely side, but never at the angle. If anyone follows him, let 
there be no conversation. If two or three gentlemen come 
down, let him (the whipper-in) beg them either to go away or 
not to talk or smoke. If he is fortunate enough to have hit 
upon the right spot and to see the fox break away, let him not 
move or speak till the fox has got through at least two, and 
much better, three fences ; and if he even then gives him an- 
other field no harm is done. In the first place, the fox will not 
turn back into covert ; in the second he will be more likely to 
go straight, which all sportsmen know is better for hounds and 
pleasanter for those who ride to them. A fox with a good five 
minutes' start of hounds is much more likely to give a good fine 
straight run of from six to ten mile points than one on whose 
very back hounds get away. 

Just one word on the voice, and its use. To a huntsman a 
fine voice is of the greatest benefit ; it exercises a marvellous 



influence over his hounds, and is a pleasure to all who hunt 
with him. Old Carter, who died in the autumn of 1884, having 
survived his ninetieth birthday, had a lovely voice. Even when 
he was over seventy years of age it was a treat to hear him draw 
a big woodland. William Long also had a most musical voice. 
To a whipper-in such a voice is a misfortune, and he should 
nourish and cherish it till such time as he becomes a huntsman 
and carries a horn. I fully agree with the late Earl Fitzhardinge, 
who was one of the best sportsmen that ever lived, whose know- 
ledge of hunting and all appertaining thereto was inferior to no 
man's. He used to say, ' I hate a whipper-in with a fine loud 
voice. If anything goes wrong, if hounds riot or get hold of 
carrion, he is satisfied to sit a mile off and rate them.' That 
may do very well once, and hounds may fear the consequence 
of not avoiding whatever their misdeed is ; but when they 
find nobody comes, the next time they will take no notice of it. 
The whipper-in when he finds wrong-doing should say nothing 
but get quickly to the hounds ; when he is right on top of 
them, a quick rate with the voice and a smack of the whip will 
probably put matters to rights ; should it not, then a smart 
stroke with a not too heavy whip may be necessary. The 
last thing it strikes me to remark about the voice is that 
in coming away from a covert drawn blank the huntsman's 
voice and horn should be sufficient to bring hounds away ; 
the whipper-in's voice should not be heard. I hear con- 
stantly whippers-in making as much noise as though six foxes 
had gone away. This is wrong, and makes hounds slack and 
slow in coming when a fox has gone. You cannot make more 
than a certain noise, and if you make all you can when no fox 
is gone how are hounds to know the difference of being simply 
drawn out of a blank covert or being wanted to get quickly 
away after a fox? This is particularly objectionable when 
drawing a succession of small coverts, which you are probably 
doing down wind, and it moves a fox that is a mile or even two 
miles off. I have known several whippers-in good men in 
their way I should have liked to take out with muzzles on. 


I ought to say a word on the subject of horses as regards 
whippers-in. I have often in my life heard a M.F.H. say 
of a brute that can neither jump nor gallop, 'Oh, he will 
do to carry a whipper-in.' Now this is a very great mis- 
take. Leave your whipper-in at home sooner than mount him 
badly. To be of any use he should be able to get to hounds 
and to stop hounds if wanted. If you are too stingy or too 
badly off to buy good horses for him, buy none, and begin your 
economy at the right place. It is just as expensive to feed, and 
keep helpers to attend to, a bad horse as a good one, and your 
whipper-in badly mounted is useless. I would impress on 
whippers-in that horses are not steam engines that will go as 
long as you choose to keep the steam on, and that even if they 
were they have no tender with water and coal to feed them with. 
I know some who never take care of their horses, always tire 
them, gallop in the deepest and worst, instead of the firmest and 
best, ground, and ride them over the biggest place instead of the 
easiest in the fence, when there is no necessity for it. To these 
men I would say, ' Nurse your horse ; the run may be severe, the 
day may be long, and to get to the end of either you must ride 
with care and judgment.' A good horse deserves to be well 
treated, and a whipper-in who ill-uses and knocks his horses 
about deserves the fate with which I always threatened Dick 
Christian, who was a butcher on a horse namely, that I would 
buy blind fly horses in Bath or Cheltenham and give him 
nothing else to ride. 

A huntsman, whether he be a gentleman or a professional, 
should impress on his whippers-in certain things that they 
should or should not do. This is better done by quietly talking 
to them in the kennels or elsewhere than by blowing them up 
or swearing at them in the hunting field, though it is at times 
necessary to speak out there. I have observed that nine out of 
ten interfere with hounds when they ought not to do so. For 
instance : having got a long way behind his fox, and the hounds 
being at check, the huntsman is making his cast. Some one, 
or perhaps even two or three, couple of hounds, with finer 

L 2 


noses than the others, stop and try to puzzle out the scent. The 
whipper-in should not then interfere with them. He should leave 
them, and putting the others on to the huntsman, watch them. 
If he finds they are feathering on the line, he should encourage 
them and call the huntsman's attention to them. As a rule 
directly a whipper-in sees hounds doing this he rides at, rates, 
or hits them, any way drives them on. It never seems to 
strike a whipper-in that hounds come out to use their noses, 
and to hunt a fox ! In countries where foxes lie out much in 
hedgerows or in trees, in trotting from one covert to another 
you may move a fox without anyone seeing him. Should 
you cross his line, directly hounds put their noses down and 
begin to speak to it, or to quicken their pace, without even 
looking or considering whether it is a hound given to rioting 
or a staunch foxhound that will hunt nothing else, bang goes the 
whipper-in at them, with voice and whip to stop them. My ex- 
perience is that with very few exceptions nine days out often that 
a whipper-in goes out hunting he does more harm than good. 

I persistently call these men 'whippers-in,' agreeing with 
the late Earl Fitzhardinge that it is the proper name for that 
species of kennel servant, that a whip is a thing you carry in 
your hand, and not a man on horseback. 

I dare say I have omitted many things I ought to have 
noticed, but at the present time the only other hint I should give 
is that whips in the kennel cannot be too short or too light, as 
many hounds have been seriously injured across the back by 
the use of the usual heavy whips served out. 

In the ordinary case of a professional huntsman being en- 
gaged, he must have under him either a man of experience 
whom he can trust to feed the hounds properly when he is 
away from home (though generally that can be done before 
he starts for his day's duty), and to look after lame and sick 
hounds, or he must have an intelligent young man who will 
obey orders and carry out the instructions given to him. This 



functionary would be called the kennel feeder, and it would 
be his duty amongst other things to walk out all the hounds 
left at home three or four times a day for fifteen or twenty 
minutes each time. In the case of a gentleman hunting his 
own hounds, or the subscription pack of which he is master, 
it is necessary to have a kennel huntsman. There are three 

sorts : one who is old and does not ride, except to exercise the 
hounds in summer, and whose sole occupation is to feed and 
look after them and doctor them during the hunting season ; 
another, a man capable of hunting them should illness or 
business oblige the master to absent himself from the field. 
There are great advantages in this second sort, because it is 
not fair to ask a whipper-in to hunt hounds, nor to ask hounds 


to recognise the whipper-in in his new capacity. It stands to 
reason that the man who has been for weeks or months driving 
hounds from him will not find them come to him very freely when 
he wants them to do so. Then the kennel huntsman comes in. 
It is a great advantage to a man who has to feed hounds to 
see them in the field, and he should always have two or three 
horses at his disposal, to be able to hunt at times, twice or 
thrice a week say. He then sees how his conditioning answers, 
and whether some want rather more, others rather less, food. 
The third sort is, I think, objectionable. It is the kennel hunts- 
man to whom the hounds look for protection in the kennel, who 
whips-in to his master, and is obliged to drive and rate, and 
perhaps strike a hound in the field. A good man as kennel 
huntsman is a very valuable addition to a kennel establishment. 
If he has studied veterinary books a little and knows the proper- 
ties and effects of different medicines, it is a great advantage. 
Kennel servants are often terribly ignorant on this point, and 
might as well give known poisons as the medicines they ad- 
minister in certain circumstances. 

I am very fond of listening to hounds singing in kennel. 
It is delightful to hear as it rises and falls, and seems as if each 
hound had studied his notes ; it is also a beautiful sight to see 
them sitting up with heads in air enjoying their chorus. At 
Badminton, ever since I can recollect it has been the practice 
not to interfere with them and to let them have their song out. 
Charles Hamblin has a theory that they are apt to fight ; 
but that is all nonsense ; they are much more apt to fight if 
they are stopped. I never knew a case of their fighting after 
singing. They seem satisfied and quiet. They sing much 
more in the summer time and when they are fresh than during 
the hunting season ; still they will do it at all times, but more 
or less according to how fresh they are, and with regard to the 
state of the weather. Fine weather induces them to sing. I 
am sure it is much better for them to enjoy their music. To 
my mind a huntsman will do well to allow this without any 
interference, and to avoid a much more likely source of fights, 


and that is keeping terriers, by day and by night, in the hounds' 
lodging houses. Those are the little fellows that get into mischief 
and first begin a row and a fight ; they are better in separate 
lodging houses. 


One of the most vexatious and constantly recurring annoy- 
ances that befall those who pursue the fox is his getting to 
ground. To begin at the beginning, we will say that the earth- 
stopper's duty is, after the fox has gone out on his nightly prowl, 
and before he comes home to his rest in the morning, to stop 
out all the main earths, and such drains as he knows the foxes 
use at night. The hour must depend on the setting and rising 
of the sun at the various periods of the hunting season. Here 
let us pause to say that the term ' stopping out ' means doing it 
during the night, and the term 'putting to' means stopping 
the earths or drains later in the morning, just in sufficient time 
to prevent the fox getting to ground after he is found. That 
part of the country in which the hounds are likely to draw for 
a fox should be ' stopped out,' and that part to which they are 
likely to run should be ' put to.' It is a good plan and saves 
time to have packs of post cards with the names and addresses 
of the stoppers printed on the back. You have then only to write 
'Stop out Tuesday night,' or ' Put to Wednesday,' and date and 
post it. In most countries, if a man's stop is not too large to 
enable him to do so, it is advisable for him to visit the main or 
largest earths again in the morning, to see that no one has 
pulled out the stones or faggots ; in those in which there are 
badgers this is absolutely necessary. A small terrier dog is a 
very useful adjunct to an earth-stopper. In the first place, if 
he wants to stop a drain permanently it is necessary, on the 
commonest principles of humanity, to run a dog through so as 
not to starve to death some wretched fox, rabbit, or cat that 
may happen to be in it. This saves a great deal of trouble, 
and the omission of it is a fruitful source of running to 
ground, for either some mischievous fellow moves the 



stones or the water washes a way through, or a rabbit, a 
fox, or a badger has scratched a way in, and a good run 
may be spoilt by the fox going to ground there. If the 
drain is grated it should be constantly looked at. The 
better way is to set the grating in masonry about a yard in 
to avoid its being stolen, but that makes it more difficult to 
see if the water has scowered sufficiently under it to make 
room for a fox after a little drawing by a rabbit. In the 

spring of the year it is better not to 'stop out,' so as to 
let vixens get to ground. When there are cubs about, the 
' putting to ' should not be too late, say about 8 A.M., for 
vixens when their cubs get strong go in and suckle the little 
ones, but often come out again and take up a position near, 
whence they can watch the earth, because the cubs scratch and 
worry the mother ; and if the earth is ' put to ' too late the 
vixen gets stopped out instead of being stopped in. Killing 


a heavy vixen is annoying, but killing one that has laid up 
cubs is still more so. If you do not find them the poor things 
are starved to death ; if you find them and get a cat to bring 
them up, you do not often raise them. If the cubs are three or 
four months old, the dog fox will sometimes provide them with 
food and bring them up. A great deal of the success and sport 
of a season's hunting depends on efficient and careful earth- 
stoppers. In spite of the greatest pains and trouble a M.F.H. 
will find himself constantly running to ground in the same 
earth or drain. If he does get a really good man in whose 
stop he rarely or never gets to ground, he should treasure and 
encourage him in every way. 


This is a most difficult subject to treat of. As a rule, during 
the hunting season, horsemen do but little damage beyond 
making gaps in the fences, and occasionally hurting a field of 
vetches or young clover seeds or winter beans. The bulk of 
farmers are so sporting and so good-natured that they do not 
mind. You may come across one every now and then who 
says, ' I won't have my bounds broken,' or ' You sha'n't ride 
over my wheat.' But that is rare, and practically very trifling 
damage is done. Sometimes in a wet spring, after grass has 
been bush-harrowed, it is otherwise. Wheat is a very hardy 
plant, and it takes a great deal to hurt it. I have seen fields 
three times in my life that I thought utterly ruined by horses' 
hoofs, and I arranged with the occupiers of the land to send, 
before harvest, a good agriculturist to look over and report on 
their state, with a view to compensation ; and on each occasion 
I received a letter saying it was quite unnecessary, that there 
had never been a better crop on those particular lands. But 
all the same, the feelings of the farmer must be taken into con- 
sideration, and he should be treated with gentleness and civi- 
lity at all times, and compensated at the proper time if neces- 


sary ; though it will generally be found that not much damage 
has been done. A hunting fanner of my acquaintance once told 
me he never went over any part of his farm across which the 
hounds had run for at least ten days after their visit, and that 
then, beyond gaps in his fences, he found hardly any marks. 
Every man has a right to object to his land being ridden over, 
and when be does so, must be treated as a man who is within 
his rights. To those who do not hunt themselves, and yet 
welcome the hounds, all hunting men are deeply indebted ; 
they are indeed generous and unselfish specimens of humanity. 
To those who hunt we are also indebted, but as they partici 
pate in the sport, and ride over other people's lands, it is in a 
less degree. I remember a tenant of Lady Holland's at Foxley, 
in North Wilts, a gentleman of the name of Baker, once open- 
ing the gate of one of his own fields forty acres of wheat 
in the month of February, when we were going to draw his 
gorse covert, which he had asked us to make on his farm, and say- 
ing, ' This is the best way ! ' There were three hundred horsemen 
at least, and I remonstrated and suggested going a field farther 
on ' Bless you, it will do it good ! ' he said ; and rode first into it. 
There are many such, I am happy to say, but when it is otherwise, 
it is good policy to keep them friendly, to listen to their com- 
plaints, and recompense them if they want it. As regards foxes 
killing lambs, there is a great deal of nonsense talked and of 
misconception about it. That a fox will undoubtedly kill one, 
if it is very weak, or sometimes, when a ewe has two, will nip 
up one whilst she is defending the other, is a fact ; but it is 
only when they are very small. The ewe is quite capable of 
defending her lamb. One man declared to me that the foxes 
came in troops and attacked his fold, which of course is ridicu- 
lous, as foxes seek their prey ' single-handed,' and do not hunt 
in troops like wolves. He said he could prove it, and laid 
a dead lamb down. When it stank, of course foxes passing 
winded it, and he found three foxes fighting over it. In almost 
every case where a fox is found eating a lamb, it has been 
killed by a dog, and generally by a sheep dog ; more often 


than not by the lamb's own shepherd's dog. Foolishly, when 
lambs die, the shepherds give them to their dogs. When the 
larder is empty, doggy, being sagacious, forages for himself. 
One certain way in which you can tell if a fox has killed a 
lamb and begun eating it, is that he will do so by making a 
hole in the side of the chest under one or other fore leg, and 
getting at the heart. If a dog begins to eat it, he does so by 
gnawing off the head or making a hole in the throat in endeavour- 
ing to do so. I do not say that foxes never kill lambs, but I say 
that such an occurrence is very rare. When it can be proved, 
the lamb should be paid for ; but it requires good proof first. 

Three cases have come to my knowledge, within the last 
four or five years, in which farmers' belief in the harm done by 
foxes has been eradicated. On two of these occasions the men 
who had declared war against foxes made a party of three or 
four with guns, and in both instances they slew the culprit. 
There was a who-hoop ! and a rush at the animal they had 
bowled over ; in one instance it was the farmer's own sheep 
dog, in the other it was his neighbour's. In the other case 
the farmer, if not actually convinced, was effectually cured of 
his wish to destroy foxes. He sat up in a tree for two or three 
nights waiting for his enemy. On the last night he went to 
sleep, fell out of the tree, broke several of his ribs, and vowed 
that for the future he would never try to shoot a fox. As 
regards the claims for loss of poultry, they increase and multi- 
pi} to a degree that threatens to make it one of the heaviest 
items in the expense of keeping hounds. My hunting country 
is a very large one. I should say, if the boundaries were 
measured right round, it would be at least 160 miles. We have 
divided it as well as we can into districts, and in each of these 
some gentleman has kindly undertaken the very difficult task 
of adjudicating as to whether the claim shall be paid or not. We 
make a rule that no poultry shall be paid for that are not shut 
up at night If a fox burglariously enters a hen roost and takes 
and destroys, they must be paid for. The worst of a fox is that 
he likes killing better than eating. He is the prototype of the 


Englishman looked at from the foreigner's point of view : ' God 
dam it is fine to-day ! What shall we kill? ' If he would only 
take the little that satisfies his appetite he would not be grudged 
his food. But if there are twenty or thirty or more fowls that he 
can get at, he will kill them all. He may take away three or 
four and bury them and one to eat presently, but the rest he 
leaves. Poultry taken in broad daylight near the owner's farm 
or residence are paid for also. But we must have some proof, 
such as the feathers strewn about, and like a paper chase 
dropped on the line he has gone, for a fox makes a rare mess 
when he kills poultry. In a country full of foxes, and where 
such claims are paid, directly a fowl is missed, without inquiry 
or demur, its loss is set down to the foxes ; and consequently 
the two-legged foxes, in whose pots they might be often found, 
get off with impunity. It is therefore very necessary to have 
these claims inquired into and made out to be genuine. I 
have had claims for calves and cows killed by foxes, but they 
are too ridiculous to require any remarks from me. Bulls and 
cart horses as yet have not been claimed for. 


In describing the various methods of making artificial fox 
earths, or drains as they are called in some countries, it is of 
course impossible to lay down any hard and fast rules, as their 
construction must depend in every case upon local considera- 
tions. A few of the principal points to be aimed at may be 
noted, however, and the constructor must then use his judgment 
in putting them in force according to circumstances. 

Artificial earths are primarily meant for breeding establish- 
ments, and among the chief points to be borne in mind are the 
Aspect, Position, Soil, Drainage, Construction, Materials, and 
Form of earth. 


With regard to Aspect, i.e. the aspect of the entrances or 
mouths, it is first of all necessary to look at the habits of the young 
cub. It will be found that he does not come out of the bowels of 
the earth till he is about four or five weeks old, generally at first 
only for an hour or two morning and evening, after sunrise and 
before sunset ; and as it is a well-known fact that the sun has a 
great power in making young animals healthy, it is evident that 
the mouths of the earth should be situated where they will, catch 
the most sun ; but at the same time it must be in such a place 
that it is sheltered from the prevailing winds, and especially 
from the north. It will be also noticed of young cubs that 
for some weeks after coming out of the earth they keep close to 
the mouth of the hole, gambolling and playing in a circle of a 
few yards. Care should be taken, therefore, that the ground 
round the mouth of the earth is of as dry a nature as possible, 
as the little animals often play till they get hot and lie down, 
and if the ground is at all swampy or wet they are very liable to 
get what is commonly called ' yellows,' a canine form of jaundice ; 
therefore let the aspect be as sunny as possible, sheltered from 
the winds with dry gromid round the mouth of the hole. 

With regard to the Position of the earth there are also 
many points to be considered. Some people place their arti- 
ficial earths in a gorse, but this I hold to be a mistake ; as if the 
earth is put as it should be, away from a ride or path, the earth- 
stopper when the gorse is grown up will have great difficulty in 
finding the earth in the dead of night unless he has a mark to 
guide him. The result of this will be that he will always go 
the same way, and eventually make a conspicuous path right up 
to the earth. Besides this, a gorse covert is a covert where 
foxes are expected to lie above ground, and the keeper going 
to stop the earth at night disturbs the covert for the next day's 
draw. Moreover, in regard to the question of breeding, very 
little sun would reach the mouth of the earth. To some extent 
these objections apply to the making of earths in large coverts. 
The best artificial earth is- probably one that is built in a small 
spinney close by a large stronghold with a dell in it, the earth 


being placed on the north side of the dell, half-way up the 
bank, so that the sun may get at it in the afternoon and evening. 

The Soil of the place should be a matter of careful selection. 
The great object to be aimed* at is that the vixen may have a 
dry place to lie on and drop her cubs, and it is also an advan- 
tage that she should be able to scratch or draw out a snug 
corner in the lodging room to litter her offspring. It is the 
instinctive nature of the vixen some few weeks before her con- 
finement to scratch out and make for herself abed on what may 
be called fresh soil in order that she may here lay up her cubs ; 
and by giving her the opportunity of following her instincts there 
is a greater chance of her taking to her artificial home. Chalk 
we all know is the driest and best soil for this purpose, and it is 
at the same time a soil that is easily moved by the burrowing 
animal ; also, it is not so likely as gravel or sand to fall in. 
Endeavour then to get your earth made where you have a sub- 
soil of chalk. If no chalk site is obtainable, the nearest 
possible approach to a soil of this nature is the best. 

Drainage is also a matter of consequence, but one upon 
which it is impossible to offer any very definite suggestions. 
Everything depends on the situation, but this can be said : 
always make the lodging room considerably higher than the 
mouth of the hole. This will assist the drainage considerably, 
also drain the ground outside the mouth if damp. 

As for Construction and Materials, it is not advisable to 
construct these earths in a smart or neat way. They should be 
made as roughly as possible, and with as rough materials. The 
outside cuts of trees, old bricks or flints anything, in fact, which 
is sufficient to keep the ground from falling in, 

Two matters ought to be taken into consideration. First, 
that the first few feet of the entrance must not be large enough 
to allow a terrier or cur dog to get in. Secondly, that there 
should be more than one entrance to the lodging room, so that 
in case of an enemy getting in the fox is able to slip round and 
get out 




MANY stories are told of that facetious nobleman, Lord 
Barrymore, the ' Cripplegate ' of those three brothers whose 
eccentricities seem to have so largely delighted the old historians 
of the turf. Not all of these are particularly interesting to us, 
or creditable to his lordship's memory, but in the following, 
related by ' The Druid,' there is a little grain of salt that has 
sufficed to keep it still sweet enough for our purpose. He 
walked one fine morning out on to the pavement in front of 
his stables at Newmarket, and roared at the top of his voice, 
' O yes ! O yes ! O yes ! who wants to buy a horse that can 
walk five miles an hour, trot eighteen, and gallop twenty ? ' 
Of course a crowd was round my lord in a moment, and on 
his repeating the flattering tale, there was no lack of aspirants 
to the possession of this remarkable animal ; but they were 
forced to content themselves with the assurance that 'When 
I see such a horse I will be sure to let you know.' There is 
no recorded reason for believing that such a wonder has yet 
been found ; perhaps the nearest approach to it was that famous 
steed of whom the enthusiastic dealer assured a doubting pur- 
chaser, ' The shadow of him on the wall is worth all the money 
I axes ; he can pick up his feet, and go, and catch a bird.' 
But the desire for a good horse is as keen now as in Lord 
Barrymore's time, and if the prices do not as a rule run quite 
so high now as they did in the days Dick Christian has waxed 
so eloquent over, nobody with a good animal to sell need ever 
look long for a buyer. 


Mr. Sidney, in that vast equine encyclopaedia of his, 1 has 
printed a ' table of contents ' of the stables of Algernon Percy, 
fifth Earl of Northumberland, in 1512, which gives one a very 
fair notion of the sort of stud a great nobleman of those days 
thought it necessary for his comfort and dignity to maintain : 

This is the ordre of the chequir roule of the nombre of all the 
horsys of my lorde's and my lady's that are appointed to be in the 
charge of the hous yerely, as to say, gentell hors, palfreys, hobys, 
naggis, clotrisell hors, male hors. 

First, gentell hors, to stand in my lorde's stable, six. 

Item. Palfris for my ladis : to wit, oone for my lady, two for 
her gentlewomen, and one for her chamberer. 

Four hobys and nags for my lorde's oune saddell, viz. one for 
my lorde to ride, one led for my lorde, and one to stay at home for 
my lorde. 

Item. Chariot hors to stand in my lorde's stable yearly ; seven 
great trottynge hors to draw in the chariot, and a nag for the 
chariot man to ride eight. Again, hors for Lord Percy, his 
lordship's son and heir ; a great double trotting hors, called a 
curtal, for his lordship to ride out of townes ; a proper amblynge 
little nag, when he goethe hunting and haw king \ a great amblynge 
gelding or trotting gelding, to carry his male. 

A single hunter, it will be seen, was then thought sufficient 
for a ' lord of high degree,' and though distinguished from the 
rest, as kept for hunting and hawking only, he is somewhat con- 
temptuously dismissed as an ' amblynge little nag,' though 
' proper.' 

But a century later things have advanced. Then we get 
into the days of our friend Gervase Markham, a time which, as 
Mr. Sidney rightly says, ' may be taken as a standpoint for 
summing up the condition of the English horse before the 
production of the thorough-bred racehorse, which was not 
effected till nearly a hundred years later.' In James the First's 
reign the English horse had become a notable beast He was 
of foreign blood of course, as were the English men themselves, 
of foreign blood mixed and mixed again with the native stock. 

1 The Bock of the Horse, 2nd ed. ch. ii. 


There were horses in Britain when Caesar landed with his 
Romans ; ponies in the hilly wooded districts, others of larger 
and stronger build on the rich pastures of the lowlands. The 
Normans imported those solemn ponderous beasts one sees in 
the Bayeux tapestry, and later, the Crusaders brought back 
with them from their wild pilgrimage some Eastern strains, 
'genets' as they were then called, and still are called in Spain. 
From the earliest days our kings had made horseflesh their 
care. Before the Norman rule, Athelstan had forbidden 
English horses to be sent out of the country except as presents, 
and one of the few good acts recorded of John is his impor- 
tation of a hundred Flemish stallions. Edward III. tried to 
make the breed lighter and speedier by the infusion of a 
Spanish strain ; but it does not seem as though all this care 
had been very efficacious, for in his French campaigns that 
king found such difficulty in mounting his cavalry that he had 
to send for large drafts from Hainault. Nevertheless of some 
kind or other horseflesh was growing in our islands, in quantity 
if not in quality, and to such an extent that Richard II. com- 
pelled the dealers to fix their prices at a minimum value. In 
Henry VII. 's reign the practice of gelding first came into use in 
consequence of the vast herds of horses that were kept at grass 
together. The eighth Henry took the matter in hand with his 
usual vigour. He passed an Act of Parliament for the im- 
provement of the breed of horses, the preamble to which ran 
to this effect : 

Forasmuch as the generation and breed of good and strong 
horses within this realm extendeth not only to a great help and 
defence of the same, but also is a great commodity and profit to 
the inhabitants thereof, which is now much decayed and diminished 
by reason that in forests, chaces, moors, and waste ground within 
this realm, little stoned horses, and nags of small stature and of 
little value, be not only suffered to pasture thereupon, but also to 
cover mares feeding there, whereof cometh in manner no profit or 

This Act made it law that no entire horse above the age of 



two years and under fifteen hands high should be ' put in any 
forest, chace, moor, heath, common, or waste within the shires 
of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Buckingham, Huntingdon, 
Essex, Kent, South Hants, Berks, North Wilts, Oxford, Wor- 
cester, Gloucester, Somerset, Wales, Bedford, Warwick, Not- 
tingham, Lancaster, Salop, Leicester, or Lincoln, nor under 
fourteen hands in any other county.' It ordained also that 
' all commons and other places shall, within fifteen days after 
Michaelmas, be driven by the owners and keepers, ard if there 
be found in any of the said drifts any mare not able to bear 
foals of reasonable stature, or to do profitable labour, in the 
discretion of the majority of the drivers, they may kill and bury 
them.' The Archbishops and Dukes were each to keep seven 
entire trotting horses, no one of which was to be under fourteen 
hands high ; and every clergyman whose living was worth a 
hundred pounds yearly, or whose wife could afford a bonnet of 
velvet, was to keep one such horse. By a subsequent Act all 
owners of inclosed grounds to the extent of one mile were 
ordered to keep two mares thirteen hands high (hand/nils was 
the old expression) for breeding purposes ; where the grounds 
were four miles in extent, four such mares were to be kept. The 
counties of Westmoreland, Cumberland, and Northumberland, 
and the bishopric of Durham, were exempted from these laws, 
all violations or neglect of which were strictly punished ; or, at 
any rate, ought to have been if the officers did their duty. 
Henry is also said to have imported fresh blood from Turkey, 
Naples, and Spain, all famous for their breed of horses in those 
days. Nevertheless the result does not seem for all his care to 
have been worth very much. In 1588, when England was 
looking out from her cliffs for the coming of the great Armada, 
only three thousand cavalry could be mustered, though Catholic 
and Protestant alike forgot their quarrels as they rallied to their 
Queen's call. And these horses were, according to a contem- 
porary, 'very indifferent, strong, heavy, slow draught- horses, or 
light and weak.' 

Markham was writing only a quarter of a century later, 


yet, unless he or Blundeville (the aforesaid contemporary) has 
largely exaggerated, a vast change must have taken place in our 
horseflesh within those years. James was the first king to 
import an Eastern sire for the express purpose. But ' the 
Arabian horse,' called ' Markham' after the merchant from whom 
he was bought for i54/., did not set foot in England till 1616, 
the date of Gervase Markham's book. The improvement, 
therefore, cannot have been due to the Arabian, who was, 
moreover, a notorious failure. At any rate, Markham (the 
man, not the horse) is very plain-spoken in his approval of the 
English horse of his day, and as he had travelled and knew well 
what he was writing about, his praise cannot be set down to 
mere 'provincialism.' He says : 

I do daily find in mine experience, that the virtue, goodness, 
boldness, swiftness, and endurance of our true-bred English horses 
is equal with any race of horses whatsoever. Some former writers, 
whether out of want of experience, or to flatter novelties, have con- 
cluded that the English horse is a great strong jade, deep-ribbed, 
sid-bellied, with strong legs and good hoofs, yet fitter for the cart 
than either saddle or any working employment. How false this is 
all English horsemen know. The true English horse, him I mean that 
is bred under a good clime, on firm ground, in a pure temperature, is 
of tall stature and large proportions ; his head, though not so fine 
as either the Barbary's or the Turk's, yet is lean, long, and well- 
fashioned ; his crest is high, only subject to thickness if he be stoned, 
but if he be gelded then it is firm and strong ; his chine is straight 
and broad ; and all his limbs large, lean, flat, and excellently jointed. 
For their endurance I have seen them suffer and execute as much 
and more than ever I noted of any foreign creation. I have heard 
it reported that at the massacre of Paris (St. Bartholomew) Mont- 
gomerie, taking an English mare in the night, first swam over the 
river Seine, and after ran her so many leagues as I fear to nomi- 
nate, lest misconstruction might tax me of too lavish a report. 
Again, for swiftness, what nation has brought forth that horse which 
hath exceeded the English when the best Barbarys that everwere 
in their prime, I saw them overrun by a black hobby at Salisbury; 
yet that hobby was more overrun by a horse called Valentine, which 
Valentine neither in hunting or running was ever equalled, yet 
was a plain-bred English horse both by sire and dam? Again, for 

M 2 

1 64 HUNTING. 

infinite labour and long endurance, which is to be desired in our 
hunting matches, I have not seen any horse to compare with the 
English. He is of tolerable shape, strong, valiant, and durable. 

A contemporary, Michael Barratt, 1 writes pretty much in 
the same strain, though ' for all general uses, for service (that 
is, war), swiftness, and proud going, as well as for pleasure pace 
as a gallant trot,' he thinks, ' the Barbary and the Turkey 
stallions are the best.' But for 'toughness' he holds by the 
English horse, a cross between one of the foreigners and an 
English mare. 

Markham was the first to really distinguish the hunter from 
other horses, to explain his points and qualities, and call atten- 
tion to the particular circumstances necessary for his proper 
breeding, training, and keeping. His remarks are worth con- 
sidering ; entertaining of course, as all his writing, but also 
very sensible (as, too, he generally is), and not very much 
perhaps to be improved on by modern experts. 

Although some men hold an opinion that every horse which 
can gallop may be made a hunting horse, and albeit we daily see 
that many horses, which indeed can do no more but gallop (and that 
not long together neither) are ordinarily used in this exercise of 
hunting, yet I am of that mind, that if a horse has not some virtue 
more than ordinary, as either in his swiftness, toughness, wind or 
courage, that he is not worthy the name of a hunting horse, and 
neither doth deserve the labour, cost, and good food which he must 
eat, nor the grace to be employed in such an honourable pastime. 

Now therefore to save ill-employed cost, and the repentance 
which follows hours that are in vain wasted, you shall (being ad- 
mitted to pursue this pleasure) be exceeding careful in the choice of 
that horse which you intend for hunting. For as before I told you 
in the breeding of horses, some are good for service in the wars, 
some for running, some for coach, some for cart, and some for the 
hamper, now all these in their kind good, yet very few excellent in 
general for all these uses whatsoever, and those few which are so 
well compounded, both of mind and body, that they are fit for any 
purpose, they only and none else are most excellent for hunting, as 
having the strength of the war horse, the toughness of the hunting 

1 The Vineyard of Horsemanship, 1618. 


horse, the good pace of the traveller, the swiftness of the runner, a 
good breast for the coach, a strong joint for the cart, and a back 
like a beam for the hamper. 

But forasmuch as there be three especial characters or faces by 
which a man shall choose a good hunting horse, to wit his breed, 
his colour, and the shape of his lineaments, 1 will by them show 
you what observations you shall regard when you make choice for 
this purpose. 

And first for his breed, if he be either bastard Jennet or bastard 
Polander, his breed is not amiss ; for I have known of all these 
sorts of bastards excellent hunting horses. Now if you demand 
what I mean by this word bastard, it is when a horse is begotten 
by any of these country horses upon a fair English mare, or by a 
fair bred English horse upon any of these country mares ; but 
neither to flatter other countries, nor to take from our own that 
which is due unto it, the world doth not afford in all points (both 
for toughness and swiftness being joined together) a better horse 
than the true-bred English horse for hunting : which assertion 
should I maintain by the best proof, which is example, and could 
repeat so many instances as were sufficient to fill up the rest of this 
volume, but I will not at this instant be so troublesome. 

Through all the many gradations of colour we need not 
follow Markham. In his day the colour of a horse was a very 
particular point, and considered an infallible indication of his 
temper and qualities. The saying we go by now that ' a good 
horse cannot be of a bad colour' a saying, by the way, clearly 
susceptible of more readings than one would not. have been 
allowed by him for a moment. ' As a horse is coloured, so is 
he for the most part complexioned : and according to his com- 
plexion, so is his disposition of good or evil quality.' Such was 
our forefathers' opinion, and very ingeniously did they go about 
to explain it. We will satisfy ourselves, however, for the present 
by noting that brown bays, dapple greys, black ' with silver hairs,' 
'well mixed ' roans, the 'ashy ' grey, and ' the white liard, which 
hath his outward parts, as the tips of his ears, mane, tail, feet, 
and suchlike, black,' were all in lavour. A black horse with no 
relief of white whatever, is much to be avoided, for ' he is furious, 
dogged, full of mischief and misfortunes.' A bay or chestnut, 

1 66 HUNTING. 

on the other hand, without such relief might be made something 
of, 'only in his pace and natural motions he will be fantastical, 
forgetful, and uncertain.' Then, for the shape : 

His head should be somewhat long, lean, and large, with a 
spacious wide chaule, both thin and open ; his ear if it be short and 
sharp, it is best, but if it be long and upright, it is a sign of speed 
and good mettle. His forehead long and rising in the midst, the 
feather thereof standing above the top of his eye ; his eyes full and 
round ; his nostrils wide and without rawness ; his mouth large and 
hairy ; his thropple within his chaule as much as a man can grip 
and by no means fleshly or so closed with fatness, that a man can 
hardly find it (as many fine-shaped horses are), the setting on of his 
head to his neck would be strong, but thin, so as a man may put 
his hand betwixt his neck and his chaule, and not bull-crag-like, 
thick and full, that one cannot easily discern where his chap lieth ; 
his crest strong and well-risen ; his neck straight, firm, and as it 
were of one piece with his body and not (as my countrymen say) 
withy-cragged, which is loose and pliant. The thropple or nether 
part of the neck, which goes from the underchaps to the breast, 
should, when the horse reineth, be straight and even, not bending 
like a bow, which is called cock-throttled and is the greatest sign of 
an ill-wind. If the nether-chaps, and that nether part of the neck 
also be full of long hair, and bearded down to the setting on of the 
breast, it is a sign of much swiftness : a broad strong breast, a 
short chin, an out rib, a well-hidden belly, short and well-knit 
joints, flat legs exceeding short, straight and upright pasterns, which 
is a member above all others to be noted ; his hoofs both black and 
strong, yet long and narrow ; and for his mane and tail, the thinner 
the more spirit, the thicker the greater sign of dulness ; to be (as 
some term it) sickle-houghed behind, that is somewhat crooked in the 
gambrel joint, as hares and greyhounds are, is not amiss, though it 
be a little eyesore. And for my own part I have seen many good 
which have borne that proportion. 

Of course the hunter of those days, and of days very much 
later, was an altogether different sort of animal from that in vogue 
with us. The hunter as we know him now may be said to have 
come in with the century, just as the style of hunting now 
practised came in. 'Nimrod,' who had some knowledge of the 
old order as well as the new, writes thus of the changes the 


latter has made necessary in the composition and circumstances 
of the English hunter : 

The half-bred horse of the early part of the last century was 
when highly broken to his work, a delightful animal to ride, in 
many respects more accomplished as a hunter than the generality 
of those of the present day. When in his best form he was a truly 
shaped and powerful animal, possessing prodigious strength, with 
a fine commanding frame, considerable length of neck, a slight 
curve in his chest, which was always high and firm, and the head 
beautifully put on. Possessing these advantages, in addition to 
very great pains taken with his mouth in the bitting, and an ex- 
cellent education in the school or at the bar, he was what is termed 
a complete snaffle-bridle horse, and a standing as well as a flying 
leaper. Held well in hand his rider standing up in the stirrups, 
holding him fast by the head, making the best of, and being able 
to pick or choose his ground such a horse would continue a chase 
of some hours' duration at the pace he was called upon to go, taking 
his fences well and safely to the last ; and he would frequently 
command the then large sum of loo guineas, But all these accom- 
plishments would never have enabled a horse of this description to 
carry the modern sportsman, who rides well up to modern fox- 
hounds, on a good scenting day, over one of our best hunting 
countries. His wind would be spent and his strength exhausted 
before he had gone twenty minutes by the increased pace at which 
he must be called upon to travel, but to which his breeding would 
be quite unequal ; and his true symmetry, his perfect fencing, his 
fine mouth, and all his other points, would prove of very little 
avail. If ridden close to the hounds, he would be powerless and 
dangerous before he had gone across half a dozen Leicestershire 
inclosures. The increased pace of hounds, and that of the 
horses that follow them, have an intimate connection with each 
other, if not with the march of intellect. Were not the hounds of 
our day to go so fast as they do, they would not be able to keep 
clear of the crowd of riders who are now mounted on horses nearly 
equal to the racing pace. On the other hand, as the speed of 
hounds has so much increased, unless their followers ride speedy, 
and, for the most part, thorough-bred horses, they cannot see out a 
run of any continuance, if the scent lies well. True it is, that at 
the present time, every Leicestershire hunter is not thorough-bred ; 
but what is termed the cocktail, or half-bred horse of this day is a 
very different animal from that of a hundred years back. In those 

1 68 HUNTING. 

days, a cross between the thorough-bred, or perhaps not quite 
thorough-bred, horse and the common draught mare, was con- 
sidered good enough to produce hunters equal to the speed of the 
hounds then used. There was not such an abundance of what may 
be termed the intermediate variety of the horse in the country 
'pretty well bred on each side of the head' which has of late 
years been in demand for the fast coaches of England, in which 
low-bred horses have no chance to live. Mares of this variety, 
put to thorough-bred stallions, and their produce crossed with pure 
blood, create the sort of animal that comes now under the de- 
nomination of the half-bred English hunter, or cocktail. 1 

This question of blood has always been a vexed one among 
hunting men. Dick Christian has decided pithily as usual in 
their favour. ' Give me 'em lengthy, short-legged for Leister- 
shire ; I wouldn't have 'em no bigger than fifteen-three : great 
rump, hips, and hocks ; fore-legs well afore them, and good 
shoulders ; thorough-bred if you can get them, but none of your 
high short horses. Thorough- bred horses make the best hunters. 
I never heard of a great thing yet but it was done by a thorough- 
bred horse.'' 2 Whyte-Melvilie, too, held by the same creed. 3 ' In 
all the qualities of a hunter,' he says, ' the thorough bred horse 
is, I think, superior to the rest of his kind.' He adds, however, 
'though undoubtedly the best, I cannot affirm that they are 
always \hepleasantest mounts. The horse he had in his eye is 
not one bred expressly for hunting but a cast-off from a racing 
stable, one found not fast enough to be worth training, or rather 
one whose 'distance is found to be just short of half a mile,' 
one who ' fails under the strain on wind and frame, of galloping 
at its very best, eight hundred and seventy yards, and fades into 
nothing in the next ten.' This failure in his opinion is a 
question more of speed than stamina: ' There is a want of reach 
or leverage somewhere, that makes its rapid action too laborious 
to be lasting, but there is no reason why the animal that comes 
short of five furlongs on the trial ground, should not hold its 
own in front, for five miles of a steeplechase, or fifteen of a run 

1 Quarterly Review, March 1832. 2 Silk and Scarlet, ch. i. 

3 Riding Recollections, ch. x. 


with hounds.' His commendation of the steeplechaser as hunter 
is one we fancy not generally shared, but, as usual, he gives 
reasons for his taste worth considering : 

A good steeplechaser, properly sobered and brought into his 
bridle, is one of the pleasantest hunters a man can ride, particularly 
in a flying country. He is sure to be able to make haste in all sorts 
of ground, while the smooth easy stride that wins between the flags 
is invaluable through dirt. He does not lose his head and turn 
foolish, as do many good useful hunters when bustled along for a 
mile or two at something like racing pace. Very quick over his 
fences, his style of jumping is no less conducive to safety than 
despatch, while his courage is sure to be undeniable, because the 
slightest tendency to refuse would have disqualified him for success 
in his late profession, wherein also he must necessarily have learnt 
to be a free and brilliant water jumper. 

Such a nag as this would certainly be a pleasant one to 
ride ; and no doubt a horse good enough to win the Liverpool 
under eleven stone or more would be both a brilliant and a 
safe mount across Leicestershire. But all steeplechasers are 
not good enough to win that race under such a weight; indeed, 
they seem to get scarcer every year ; and all hounds do not run 
across Leicestershire. Much as we respect Whyte-Melville's 
opinion on all matters connected with horseflesh, we have 
to doubt whether a man would be wise to look for a hunter in 
a steeplech.asing stable now-a-days. He might get hold of a 
pearl of course, but the chances are, to say the least, very 
doubtful. Even with a horse taken out of a racing stable 
Why te- Melville owns immense pains must be taken to make 
him really fit for hounds. He warns you ' not to feel dis- 
appointed that he seems to require more time and tuition 
than his lower-born cousins.' ' It is not that he has less 
valour but more discretion ! In the monotonous progress of 
training he has acquired, with other tiresome tricks, the habit 
of doing as little as he can, in the different paces, walk, canter, 
and gallop, of which he has become so weary.' And he tells 
a story of the difficulty that famous horseman, Sir Charles 


Knightley, had in persuading his scarce less famous hunter, Sir 
Marinel, even to look at a fence when first taken out of training. 
Yet this horse, with Benvolio, also a thorough-bred one, were 
far and away the best Sir Charles ever rode. 

Colonel Cook is as thorough an advocate for blood as 
Whyte-Melville, but he rather shakes his head at the training 
stable. ' Many fox hunters,' he says, ' prefer thorough-bred 
horses, others cocktails ; I always gave the preference to the 
former, if it was possible to get them. It is the general opinion 
that thorough -bred horses cannot leap so well as cocktails : I 
think otherwise ; and if you will try the experiment, by taking 
ten young horses of the former and ten of the latter sort, I am 
convinced you will find the thorough-bred ones to have the 
advantage, and naturally to clear their fences with more ease 
to themselves. Horses that have been in training for years 
cannot be expected to make hunters ; but, nevertheless, what 
superiority has a thorough-bred one in every respect above all, 
in speed, bottom, and wind ! 'It often happens when a cocktail 
is at the height of his speed, a thorough-bred is only at three- 
quarters, and the latter will always go through dirt (as the term 
is) best.' 

' The Druid ' l gives us the word of an old hunter breeder, 
that he could never get exactly the animal his heart was set on, 
till he put his short-legged cart mare to a thorough-bred horse, 2 
and crossed her first filly foal (' laid up in lavender till she was 
rising five ') with a thorough-bred. ' The Druid's ' own idea is 
that the size should be on the side of the dam, and the breeding 
on that of the sire ; ' a large roomy mare should be put to a 
small compact blood horse ; ' and he calls Sir Harry Goodricke 
(no mean authority) in evidence. Another friend of his, vaguely 
described as ' one of the finest horsemen and judges of the day,' 
gave him this standard for a good hunter, as good a piece 

1 Observations on Fox Hunting. 

2 My own experience is that unless the mare is well bred the produce lacks 
speed. I prefer both Sire and Dam to be well bred, but a well-bred mare and 
an under-bred horse will produce a faster animal than a thorough-bred horse 
and an under -bred mare. EDITOR. 



of advice for an intending purchaser to carry in his mind as 
any we know of : 

Had I to choose a hunter by seeing one point only, it should he 
his head ; for I never knew one with a small, clean, intelligent face 
and prominent eyes to be bad. I like his neck also to be muscular, 
but not heavy ; shoulders well back, with long arms ; short from 
the knee to the fetlock ; pasterns rather long but not upright ; his 
feet cannot well be described on paper, but they should be large 
and perfect, or all the rest is as ' leather and prunella.' His back 

' Had I to choose by one point, it should be his head.' 

should not be too short, and he should have stout loins and wide 
hips, and good length from the latter to his hocks, which should be 
rather turned inwards. Added to this he should be large round the 
girth, but whether in depth or width does not much signify ; and 
the higher he is bred the greater his intelligence, and the speedier 
his recovery from the effects of a hard day. 1 

The objections to thorough-bred hunters come mostly from 
heavy men. No doubt the system of handicapping has pro- 

1 Post and Paddock, ch. xiii. 


duced an inordinate number of ' weeds ' among our racing 
stock, and it may also be said that the majority of our steeple- 
chasers would not carry heavy men, either fast or far, to hounds. 
But size, it must be remembered, does not necessarily mean 
strength ; it has been well said, ;'/ is action that carries weight. 
A thorough-bred horse is always bigger than he looks, and 
stronger. Nevertheless, it would be unwise to expect that these 
always make the best hunters. It may be, as Dick Christian 
said, that the greatest things have always been done by the 
thorough-breds ; ' blood,' as the old adage goes, ' will tell,' and 
no doubt in difficulties the blood horse will show the most 
courage, will struggle the longest, and often get himself and his 
rider out of scrapes which his lowlier-bred cousin will accept as 
inevitable. Still, in the heavy cramped countries the plebeian 
will often prove as useful as the aristocrat ; and possibly, from 
his more phlegmatic temperament, a safer conveyance. Where 
it is rather necessary for a horse to be as nimble as a cat, as 
thick-skinned as a badger, and as patient as an ass, than to 
gallop fast and leap big, a three-quarter, or even half-bred 
horse is as useful a beast as a man need wish. There is also 
rather a sense of these high-couraged, high-bred animals being 
wasted in such countries, to say nothing of their high prices. 
Perhaps, after all is said on either side, the safest verdict to 
fall back upon is this, that, whereas a half-bred horse cannot be 
made of use in the great grass countries, a thorough-bred horse 
can be made of use anywhere. 

The saying, a good horse cannot be of a bad colour, is, as 
we have seen, susceptible of a double interpretation ; so is that 
other saying, a good horse cannot be of a bad shape. A horse 
may be perfect to a hair's breadth in every proportion, yet tho- 
roughly worthless as a hunter ; on the other hand, many first-rate 
hunters have been very queerly shaped, ' rum 'uns to look at, 
but devils to go,' as the old song says. Mr. Sidney gives in his 
book a portrait of a famous hunter, Unknown, who had carried 
the thirteen stone of his master, Mr. John Bennett, for many 
seasons with the Quorn and Pytchley without a fall, and was 


declared by Sir Richard Sutton, then hunting the former pack, 
to be one of the best animals he ever saw cross Leicestershire. 
If the portrait tell truth, no man certainly would have bought 
Unknown for his shape, to say nothing of the fact that he was 
under fifteen hands high. One of the first points a buyer looks 
at in a horse required to carry weight is the back. When the 
nature of the horse's anatomy is considered, and the position of 
the saddle, it will be clear that a back disproportionately long 
is, to say the least, not the one thing needful. Yet Whyte-Mel- 
ville tells us that the best hunter owned by each of the three 
heaviest men he ever saw ride perfectly straight to hounds had 
that fault. These were Sober Robin, owned by Mr. Richard 
Gurney, who rode twenty stone ; a bay horse belonging to Mr. 
Wood, of Brixworth Hall, who was no lighter, and used to vow 
his horse ' had as many vertebra? as a crocodile ; ' and a black 
mare, belonging to Colonel Wyndham, at least three inches too 
long behind the saddle. 'I remember also,' he adds, 'seeing 
the late Lord Mayo ride fairly away from a Pytchley field, no 
easy task between Lilbourne and Cold Ashby, on a horse that, 
except for its enormous depth of girth arguing unfailing wind, 
seemed to have no good points whatever to catch the eye. 
It was tall, narrow, plain-headed, with very bad shoulders and 
very long legs, all this to carry at least eighteen stone ; but it 
was nearly, if not quite, thorough-bred? Certainly no good 
horse, no horse at all one might say, could well have a more 
extensive collection of bad points than this. The bad shoulders, 
for instance ; what man. unless he ' knew something,' would buy 
a horse to ride, let alone to ride to hounds, with bad shoulders, 
the very first qualification, as is universally agreed, for carrying a 
saddle with comfort and safety to its occupant ? Emblem, that 
famous steeplechasing mare, was saved by her shoulders. With 
her light middle-piece, and badly ribbed-up, she was anything 
but a promising beast to the eye. Yet she won the Birmingham, 
Derby, Liverpool, Doncaster, and Cheltenham Steeplechases 
in 1863, and in 1865 the Leamington and Cheltenham Grand 
Annuals. 'She won her steeplechases,' wrote her owner, Lord 


Coventry, to Mr. Sidney, 'at her fences; and I attribute her 
extraordinary quickness in jumping to her shoulders.' l Gayman, 
the favourite mount of the giant Tom Edge, Assheton Smith's 
silent friend, was, in Dick Christian's graphic phrase, ' a queer- 
looking creature, thin neck, large head, raw hips, and a rat tail, 
for all the world like a seventeen-hands dog-horse ; ' yet, in a 

1 An extensive collection of bad points.' 

famous Leicestershire run, thirteen miles from Botany Bay to 
SLiwston Windmill, only four men saw the fox killed, and 
Edge on Gayman was one of the four. 

The northern counties have from time immemorial been the 
best nurseries for hunters. In the seventeenth century the fame 
cf Malton and Richmond fairs was great ; the latter was held 
in Easter week and at Rood-tide, the former on September 23. 
Good horses were to be bought, too, at Ripon and North- 

1 The Book of the Horse, ch. iv. 


ampton. 1 Horncastle Fair, held between the icth and zoth 
of August, was for long the most celebrated for all kinds of 
horses. But the plough has rather spoilt the Lincolnshire breed, 
once the first in the world for hunters, both in quantity and 
quality ; the hunters bred there are still wonderfully good, but 
there are not so many of them, and Howden, in the East Riding 
of Yorkshire, where the fair begins on September 25 and lasts 
for fourteen days, has rather usurped the fame of Horncastle. 
At Newcastle-on-Tyne, in August and October, and at Rugeley, 
in Staffordshire, in the first week in June, there is also much 
buying and selling of horseflesh. At Cahirmee, in county Cork, 
there is a well-known fair in July, and one at Ballinasloe, in 
county Galway, in October. Whyte-Melville maintains that 
' handsome, clever, hunting-like animals, fit to carry thirteen 
stone, and capital jumpers, at reasonable prices, varying from 
one to two hundred pounds,' are still far more plentiful in Ireland 
than in England. He adds this too : ' They possess also the 
merit of being universally well-bred. Till within a few years, 
there was literally no cart-horse blood in Ireland. The " black- 
drop" of the ponderous Clydesdale remained positively un- 
known ; and although the Suffolk Punch has been recently in- 
troduced, he cannot yet have sufficiently tainted the pedigrees 
of the country, to render us mistrustful of a golden-coated 
chestnut, with a round barrel and a strong back.' 

But buying a hunter first-hand at a fair is, of course, a tre- 
mendous lottery even for the keenest and most practised eye. 
Even if your eye tell you true, if the material is got ready to 
your hand, there is the making it up. Ready-made hunters are 
not bought at fairs. The farmers go there to pick up promising 
three- or four-year olds, giving from 8o/. to i2o/. for them, hoping 
after a year's schooling or so, either at their own or a breaker's 
hands, to sell again at a good profit. The dealers go there not 
so much to buy as to see what is bought, to mark the likely ones 
down, and be able to lay hands on them afterwards when the 
hour ccmes and the man. But if you go into the lottery yourself 

1 The Hunter: a Discourse of Horsemanship, 1685. 


you must take your chance. How many hunting men, even if 
they have the skill and the patience, have the time needful to 
make a young horse ? Hear Dick Christian on the subject : 

When they're taken into the stable, give them plenty of air and 
walking exercise three or four hours each day ; whatever you do 
never make them sweat. Give 'em an ounce of sulphur and half 
an ounce of nitre in their corn twice a week ; for the first month I 
like new hay better than old, but it must be the very best. Give 
them plenty of walking exercise up hill, and now and then give 
them a trot, but not too much of it. You may increase it by degrees ; 
then walking over ridge and furrow is a grand thing to give them 
action. Action's the thing ; if they haven't got it, they're like a 
pump without a handle, blessed if they ain't. The less you gallop 
hunters the better ; all you want of them is to be in good condition, 
and fresh on their legs. It's all very well galloping racehorses if 
you like ; but no horse should go very fast or know their best pace 
till they're put to the test. There's many a good horse spoiled by 
them tricks. I says, let me have a horse a bit above himself; he's 
much pleasanter to ride, and better able to do a right good day's 
work. Never press a horse very hard going down hill ; it beats 
them far more than if they go fast up hill. When I wanted them 
to leap, I always took them to a very low bar, knee high ; hold 
them there till you get him on to his hind legs, then let him go ; 
likely as not he'll drop on the bar ; take him to it again and again ; 
if he turns a bit nervous, wait with him ; when you've got him to 
go from his hind legs, then start him the same way with water, four 
feet wide. I was very fond of beginning them with a bit of timber 
like the body of a tree in a park. They can't get a leg in ; if they 
force themselves against it they pick over ; they must spread them- 
selves. When you get him to the fences begin with small places ; 
first walk him to them ; then trot him ; you'll soon find you may 
take him at them any pace you like. It's only confidence he wants ; 
then you may take liberties with him, but do it in good temper, and 
keep him in the same. He'll soon get confidence for the stitchers. 
Whatever you do, never go fast at them ; don't go too slow or he'll 
stop ; and many horses have been spoilt that way ; give him time 
to get his hind legs under him ; if you're too slow they buck, jump 
short, and don't spread themselves, and then down you both goes. 
When you takes a horse at his jumps hold him steady by the head, 
not pulling him hard j the longer you hold him steady the farther 


he'll go. A horse doesn't jump the farthest by going over fast at his 
fences, or water ; he wants to get his stride well up to them ; he 
can't go to last long if he's not kept collected ; he'll soon be beat, 
particular in deep ground, and ridge and furrow. When I go to 
try a horse on such like ground, down hill is what I choose : if they 
have action to do that all right, they will make something. I don't 
care anything about up hill. ... I never used thick bits. Nearly 
all horses ride better with a curb than a snaffle ; but mind you 
never use too sharp a one ; they only irritate the horse. I always 
puts the hunting curb on the first time with young horses ; you 
must let 'em have plenty of liberty to play with the bridle, but mind 
as his tongue don't slip under the bit ; this is the most consequence 
of anything. . . . When your horse refuses his fence never spur or 
maul him about ; they doesn't know where they are and comes to 
no good. They want a bit of riding after all this to get them into 
form for a lady or gentleman. I trot them with the right leg first, 
head a little to the left, and quarters to the right. Then I takes 
them into some riding school, and rides them round and round, 
right-hand way ; first walking, then trotting, not too much of it. 
Pet him and chat to him a bit, and give him a piece of carrot with 
your left hand ; I've had a good ton or two of carrots about me one 
time or another. When you begin to canter him round, get him on 
to his hind legs, and go as slow as you possibly can. Be uncommon 
quiet with him ; keep him right leg first ; if he changes take hold 
of both your reins level, pull lightly with your right, and put your 
left hand forward on both reins, leaning down as much as required. 1 

The old rough-rider, it will be seen, begins at the very begin- 
ning, whereas a horse bought out of one of these famous fairs has 
probably had some sort of schooling. It is pretty sure, however, 
to have been of a somewhat primitive, and not quite sure to 
have been of the right sort. In any case it will certainly not 
have been such as to enable the purchaser to flatter himself that 
he has bought a hunter, though he may possibly have bought 
the materials for the best a man ever threw his leg across. It 
is, then, clear that to look for your hunter in these quarters, 
apart from its intrinsic hazard, cannot be recommended to any 
man who has not a great deal of time on his hands, a stock of 
patience beyond that enjoyed by the most part of humanity, and 
1 Silk and Scarlet, ch. i. 


also a sufficient quantity of matured horseflesh to supply his 
wants till the new purchase shall be ripe for business. At the 
same time the pleasure of fitting yourself in this fashion is not 
to be gainsaid, nor the profit when all turns out well. 

But how impertinent do all warnings seem to the inex- 
perienced man, when once he has screwed his courage up to 
resolve on venturing for himself into these perilous places. 
For timid as some are in these matters, when once this timidity 
is put aside, your ' green hand ' is as ' cock-sure ' as ever was 
Macaulay in his gayest moods. The world of horseflesh, by 
the way, was perhaps the only department of human knowledge in 
which that great man would at no time of his life have been 
confident of his supremacy. Only one instance is given in 
Mr. Trevelyan's delightful biography of his having been in the 
saddle, and that was on the back of a diminutive Sheltie, in 
one of his Scotch tours, while a huge native walked on guard at 
the bridle rein. Once, when he was setting off on a visit to 
Windsor, and it was intimated to him that a riding horse as 
well as a carriage would be at his disposal, as he might prefer, 
he made answer that, if the Queen wished him to ride, she 
must send an elephant with a howdah, as he could not under- 
take to keep his seat on any less secure conveyance. The 
inexperienced buyer, who scorns to put his trust in a friend's 
superior knowledge, is in the condition described by the poet : 
Man never is, but always to be blest. 

Strange stories has he heard, too good not to be true, of all 
manner of wiles and devices of cheats, to put it plainly 
practised on the unwary ; but himself, he feels confident, is 
not to be thus imposed on. Yet what experience, what know- 
ledge, what counter- cunning, shall avail to save him from such 
a fate as this, told in his pleasant autobiography by Mr. Yates 
on the authority of the late Sir Alexander Cockburn ? l We will 
tell it in Mr. Yates's own words, which are better than any we 
could furnish : 

1 Edmund Yates, his Recollections and Experiences, ii. 134-5. 


A man saw a very handsome chestnut horse at Horncastle fair, 
and was astonished at the lowness of the price asked for it. After 
some chaffering he became the purchaser, taking it without warranty 
or anything else ; and having paid his money, he gave a ' tip ' of 
five shillings to the groom, and asked him what was really the matter 
with the animal that he should be sold so cheap. The man, after 
some hesitation, declared that the horse was a perfect animal with 
the exception of two faults. ' Two faults ! ' said the purchaser ; 
' well, tell me one of them.' ' One is,' said the man, ' that when 
you turn him into a field he is very difficult to catch.' ' That,' said 
the purchaser, ' is no harm to me, as I make a point of always 
keeping my horses in the stable, and never turning them into the 
field. Now of the other?' 'The other,' said the man, scratching 
his head, and looking slyly up, 'the other is that when you have 
caught him he is not worth a rap,' 

The custom of warranties, one may observe, has rather 
gone out of fashion now. Even when given with the best faith 
they opened a terribly wide door to litigation. No lapse of 
time puts an end to them, none, that is to say, by law defined. 
If a jury can be persuaded to believe that a horse who has 
become unsound as a three-year-old had the germs of his 
unsoundness latent in him when sold with a warranty as a 
yearling, it is all up with the seller. And a ' British Judy ' (to 
borrow Mrs. Crupp's time-honoured paraphrase), prone as it is 
to strange notions of things, is never, it may be parenthetically 
observed, so prone as in matters of or belonging to that noble 
animal, the horse. Sometimes a limited warranty will be given, 
valid for a month, or some period shorter or longer, as the case 
may be. But any such limit must inevitably, however unjustly, 
be touched with some sense of suspicion. An examination 
by a skilled veterinary surgeon, and a fair trial, are as good 
pledges as any warranty. They are what the best class of 
dealers generally offer, and what buyers will be wisest to take. 

Buying at Tattersall's, or at any public auction, is of course 
something of a lottery too. But the chances against you here are 
much less, allowing of course that you do not neglect the ordi 
nary precautions which a prudent man will observe in any trans- 

N 2 


action. Indeed at Tattersall's it is mainly a question of money. 
The man, who does not mind opening his purse wide, will 
rarely fail to find himself suited, but he must open it, and wider 
too, it seems, every day. We are supposing, of course, that he 
intends buying only such horses as come to the hammer with 
an established and trustworthy reputation : if he buys merely 
because he likes the look of an animal, without knowing more 
about it than the person in charge or some other equally inte- 
rested and communicative individual may choose to tell him, 
heaven help him we cannot. In every hunt there are always 
a certain number of good nags whose merits are well known, and 
whose price can be fairly calculated. There is no better chance, 
for a man who need not trouble himself over-much about prices, 
for picking up a good hunter than this, nor does it at all follow 
that he will do better to buy privately than to wait and take his 
chance in the auction yard. When the stud is the property of 
some famous ' performer ' in the grass countries, of course the 
competition will be brisk and the prices high. When the late 
Lord Stamford gave up the Quorn hounds in 1863, and sent his 
stud to the hammer, the seventy-three horses realised nearly 
fourteen thousand guineas, an average of about two hundred 
pounds apiece, probably the highest ever known for so large a 
stud. In 1826 Mr. George Payne had reached an even higher 
average, but with a smaller stud ; his twenty-seven hunters and 
hacks realising a sum of seven thousand five hundred guineas. 

In the autumn of 1884 the stud of a young officer, who 
had had to give up hunting foxes in Leicestershire for hunting 
Arabs in the Soudan, was sold at Tattersall's at an average of 
two hundred and fifty pounds apiece. The pick of the famous 
Lord Wilton's stable brought as much as six hundred pounds ! 

It is probable, however, that first-rate hunters may be 
bought now for rather more rational prices than our grand- 
fathers used to give. In the palmy days of the Old Club at 
Melton, the buying and selling of horses was quite a feature 
of the evening's amusement 'Parties were often made on 
purpose,' says ' The Druid,' ' and after a couple of bottles of 


claret, business became quite brisk. Each owner had one 
reserve bid, and it was quite a sight the next morning to watch 
the different horses change stables, to the great bewilderment 
of the grooms.' The great time of high prices was in Lord 
Plymouth's day, who was never himself a particularly hard 
rider. Among his most costly freaks was giving ' the Squire ' 
six hundred guineas for a horse which had already seen six 
seasons' work. He gave Sir Bellingham Graham one thousand 
guineas for a couple cf nags ; and Mr. Peter Allix seven 
hundred for a mare he had only seen out once, and which 
proved a very bad bargain. A horse called Confidence, once, 
and more than once, the property of that rare old veteran 
Mr. Lackley, was sold many times over for all prices ranging 
from seven hundred and fifty to six hundred guineas, and once, 
it is said, to Lord Plymouth for one thousand. The facetious 
Lord Alvanley was another who would open his purse as wide 
as it would go when the fancy took him. It is told of him 
that being asked once why he had gone out of his line in a run 
to get at the widest part of the Whissendine, he answered, 
' What is the use of giving seven hundred guineas for a horse 
if he's not to do more than other horses ? ' Sober Robin, the 
famous nag on whose back the monstrous Dick Gurney used 
to go pounding along with a pound weight of gold and silver 
jingling in his waistcoat, was originally bought at Lincoln Fair 
for eighty pounds, and sold to Mr. Gurney for one hundred. 
He is described as 'a handsome, short-legged brown animal, 
perhaps a trifle under sixteen-one,' and for twelve seasons 
he carried his owner's nineteen stone to the front over the 
Northamptonshire pastures. The most wonderful feat the pair 
ever performed has been thus immortalised by our useful friend, 
' The Druid ' : 

Sir Charles Knightley's leap of thirty-one feet over a fence and 
brook, just below Brixworth Hill, has ever since gone by the name 
' Knightley's Leap.' It was accomplished, we believe, on hi cele- 
brated black horse Benvolio ; but he was on his nearly as famous 
bay, Sir Marinel, when he led Mr. Gurney, on Sober Robin, over a 

1 82 


gate such as a nineteen-stone man has never yet jumped, and 
never will again. The Pytchley had a fast thing from a gorse of 
the baronet's at Dodford, and ran to the Nen, near Heyford village, 
where there is a bridge across the river, and a six-barred locked 
gate in the middle of it. They were just running into their fox, 

about two hundred yards 
ahead, when Sir Charles, and 
Mr. Gurney about as far behind 
them, reached the gate. Find- 
ing it locked, he turned his 
horse round and went over it ; 
and to his amazement, as he 
glanced back, the Norfolk 

welter and his horse were in the air. Fortune favoured them, 
and although Robin rapped it like thunder with every leg, they 
landed safe. ' What do you think of that ? ' was the question put 
to Parson Walker, who would not have charged a hurdle for a 

1 The horse rapped it like thunder 
with every leg.' 


bishopric, at a county table that evening. ' Why, that my friend 
Dick has more guts than brains,' was the prompt reply. 1 

Buying from a dealer is a difficult matter to treat of. Many 
and many a good hunter has been bought in this way, for 
not a penny more than he was worth, and many and many 
a one will so be bought hereafter, no doubt. Nevertheless, you 
must remember that you are buying on the responsibility of one 
man's word. The dealer has probably bought this horse in one 
of two ways : either at first hand, from out of one of the large 
fairs, or from some farmer who has done so, and then kept the 
nag by him to grow in wisdom and stature. In either case the 
dealer cannot well have much more than faith to go on, for 
his estimate of the animal's powers. No doubt he believes 
thoroughly every word he tells you : far be it from us to dis- 
parage his honesty, and indeed, we consider a horse dealer in 
a large and thriving business to be as honest as any tradesman 
of his inches, though, no doubt, the atmosphere of the stable 
and ' the rattle of the hat ' does exercise an untoward influence 
on some men's moral natures. But it is obvious that, whatever 
a man may think and honestly believe of the possibilities of a 
horse, his belief must have less practical value than the public 
estimate formed of a horse that has been ridden in the face of 
day, and several hundreds of prying eyes, by a good man to a 
good pack of hounds across a good country. 

That experienced judge of horseflesh, who wrote under the 
name of ' Harry Hieover,' has observed : ' My first, best, and 
most strenuous advice to any man wanting horses, not being a 
thorough, good, practical judge, yet wishing to keep the money 
together, I shall write in large characters NEVER BUY FOR YOUR- 
SELF.' 3 To get a friend who has the qualities you lack to put 
them at your disposal is, no doubt, much to be recommended 
if you can find such a one. To be asked one's opinion is 
always flattering in any matter, and especially in the matter of 
horseflesh, wherein judgment and shrewdness, the capacity for 

> The Post and Paddock, ch, xiii. The Pocket and the Stud. 

1 84 HUNTING. 

not being done, is by many people supposed to give a stamp of 
very superior intelligence indeed. But it does not follow that 
the man most ready to give his opinion is the man best quali- 
fied to have an opinion worth giving. Perhaps one might, 
without much exaggeration, say rather the contrary, for there 
are not, we think, many men who have had experience in these 
delicate matters who would care a second time to subject them- 
selves to the terrible ordeal contained in the seemingly simple 
phrase, buying a horse for a friend. For our own part we would far 
sooner select a wife for a friend than a horse : at any rate, we 
should not be expected to get rid of the former, if haply she did 
not suit, as would be nine times out of ten the case in the latter 

If a man does not dare to rely on his own judgment, and 
does not know exactly where to lay his hand on the animal he 
wants, and cannot find the friend wise enough and daring 
enough to act for him, perhaps he cannot do better than put 
himself in the hands of a respectable dealer. After all, to put 
the case brutally, it must be most to the latter's interest to treat 
his customers fairly. The buyer will of course consider the 
limitations above indicated in the event of his being recom- 
mended an untried horse. He may possibly do well also to 
consider if the horse offered to him has a very shining repu- 
tation. Dealers are fallible as well as their customers, and 
may, themselves, have been sometimes a little too ready to 
listen to the voice of the charmer. One is apt to wonder 
' how the devil it got there ' when one finds a horse with very 
splendid testimonials in a dealer's stable ; it is not impossible 
that the testimonials, true as gospel, as in their day they may 
have been, may be found on trial to refer rather to the past 
time than to the future. But, when all is said and done, a 
man who is quite certain of the sort of animal he wants and 
the sort of price he intends to pay simple pieces of knowledge 
in which so many buyers are so curiously deficient will 
probably not go very far wrong to trust to a good dealer. There 
are a fair proportion of them to be found, and some, of course, 


not quite so good. It would obviously be unwise to mention 
names, but at least there need be no difficulty even for the 
veriest tyro in assuring himself where not to go, and it has been 
justly said that 'to know what to avoid, to know where at 
least not to go, is perhaps the first step to an advance in the 
right direction.' It would be only, we trust, an insult to our 
readers' common sense to impress on them that the advertise- 
ment columns of the newspapers are not the quarters in which 
to look for good horses. Finally, let the buyer remember these 
simple facts : that he must not expect to buy a swan at the 
price of a goose : that a horse who is a notoriously brilliant 
animal in one man's hands is not necessarily the same in 
another's : that when he finds he has got a really good animal, 
even if it be not gifted with the exceptional properties of Lord 
Barrymore's facetious ideal, he will do well to let no offer 
tempt him, and no caprice move him, to part with it 




THERE is a story told of a certain highwayman, very famous 
and skilful in his profession, who, after a long and successful 
career, was at last brought to book. 

The charge is prepar'd ; the lawyers are met ; 
The judges all rang'd a terrible show ! 

and, after all due preliminaries, the gallows are reached. 
Before the hangman advanced to play his part on the body, 
the chaplain was busy, according to custom, with the souL 
' Do you repent of your past life ? ' he asked. ' I do,' was the 
answer, 'I repent unfeignedly. And yet a gallop across 
country by moonlight ! oh, you dog, it was delicious \ ' 

Delicious, indeed, is a gallop across country under certain 
conditions, among which now that the ' Knights of the Road,' 
together with many another more reputable fellowship, have 


Portions and parcels of the dreadful Past 

few of us would probably care to place moonlight. To be sure, 
such is the good nature and keenness of their master, the 
Duke of Rutland's hounds have been known to kill their fox 
' on a shiny night,' as the old song says, and once, indeed, if not 
more than once, even to find one ; so that it has become a 
proverb throughout his country that you are always sure of a 
run with the Belvoir, if you will only stop out long enough. A 
famous steeplechase, moreover, was once ridden under the 


rule of the ' Sweet Regent of the Sky,' and has received im- 
mortality from the hand of Alken. But then the riders were 
dashing young dragoons, and that branch of the English service 
has ever, as we know, been ready to go anywhere and do any- 
thing to say nothing of the very stimulating nature of the 
jumping powder supplied by a Cavalry Mess. But we may 
fairly assume that, on the whole, we will not say sunlight, as in 
this desperate climate of ours too narrowly circumscribing our 
possibilities, but daylight, let us say, will be found most favour- 
able to feats of equitation. 

But delicious as a gallop across country undeniably is to a 
good rider on the back of a good horse with, as an enthusiastic 
writer has expressed it, ' the best fellows in the world to the 
right and left, but never a soul 'twixt yourself and the hounds,' 
it is no less capable of affording sensations the very reverse of 
delightful. Everyone remembers Leech's picture of the un- 
fortunate man going down hill at a slapping pace over ground 
studded with mole-hills, on a straight-shouldered ewe-necked 
brute ridden in a single snaffle, one foot out of the stirrup, his 
hat off, and a dab of mud in his left eye- a combination of 
miseries said to have originated in the lively imagination of 
'Jem' Mason. The tnstes of men are notoriously various 
and surprising ; but it is difficult to imagine any person in 
such a situation describing his gallop as delicious. It would 
be an interesting subject for discussion in one of those 'sym- 
posiums ' which at one time crept into our periodical literature, 
the relative amount of pity given to the good man mounted 
on a bad horse, and the lad man on a good horse the man 
who could make everything of his chances if he had them, 
and the man who can make nothing of the chances he 
has. To be sure, one has often heard of the man who can 
get to the end of the hardest run on a horse which others 
have never been able to persuade over a single fence. But 
in that case we may be pretty sure that the animal was not 
primarily to blame : the possibilities were there, they only 
wanted developing. 'I sold you a horse, sir,' said once a 



famous rider to a rather indifferent one who was inclined to 
grumble at his purchase, ' but I did not sell you the gift of 
horsemanship.' On the other hand, a really bad man will never 
make anything out of a good horse except, if he be allowed 
his wicked will long enough, a bad one \ Perhaps, it would be 
safest to say that, in the first case, one pities the man most, in 
the second, the horse. 

What is a bad man ? We are not about to discuss the ques- 
tion from a Sunday-school teacher's point of view, useful as 

1 A bad man on a good horse.' 

that would in its own way be ; but as in our last chapter we 
exposed the various points of badness in a horse, so now we 
propose to treat the rider to the same process. So often one 
hears the question, ' Is So-and-so a good man across a country?' 
and the answer, ' Yes ' or ' No ' as the case may be. Now, if So- 
and-so be not a good man, it is clear he must be a bad man. 
When so great an authority as Whyte-Melville ' begs emphatically 
to disclaim any intention of laying down the law on such a sub- 


ject as horsemanship,' it behoves every writer to be careful. To 
tell a man what he ought to do, is one thing ; to teach him how 
he ought to do it, is another, and a very different thing. 'Every 
man,' says the same master of the game, ' who wears spurs 
believes himself more or less an adept in the art of riding.' 
For adepts it would obviously be as presumptuous as useless to 
write. But to briefly and gently indicate to those who are not 
yet adepts the chief points to be avoided, may possibly best 
serve to put them in the best road to become such. 

There are, of course, various degrees of badness. A rider 
is not necessarily a bad man because he is not always in the first 
flight, nor need he even merit the epithet if he be never found 
there. On the other hand, a ' thrusting scoundrel ' is by no 
manner of means to be accepted unreservedly as a good man. 
When the ' Spectator ' paid his famous visit to Sir Roger de 
Coverley he was so enchanted with a day's hare hunting his 
host showed him (our humanitarians will be delighted to hear 
that the good knight's ' stop hounds ' were not permitted to kill 
their game) that, regardless of Pascal's contempt for men who 
could ' throw away so much time and pains on a silly animal 
which they might buy cheaper in the market,' he registered the 
following resolve : ' For my own part I intend to hunt twice a 
week during my stay with Sir Roger ; and shall prescribe the 
moderate use of this exercise to all my country friends, as the 
best kind of physic for mending a bad constitution and preserv- 
ing a good one.' Now the ' Spectator ' by his own confession 
was anything but a hard rider. ' My aversion,' he says, ' to leap- 
ing hedges made me withdraw to a rising ground, from whence 
I could have the pleasure of the whole chase without the fatigue 
of keeping in with the hounds.' He made no pretence of riding ; 
he went out for his health's sake, and for the novelty of the 
diversion, leaving the ' honours ' of the chase to more daring 
spirits. No true sportsman would despise such a man, any more 
than he would find in his heart much praise for him who gauged 
his day's sport by the size of the fences he had jumped and the 
number of his friends he had cut down. Hunting is the 


amusement and not the business of a gentleman. He is at per- 
fect liberty, therefore, to pursue it in the way which pleases him 
and suits him best, provided, of course, the gratification of his 
own tastes is compatible with the equal liberties of others. If 
he like best to ride the roads, or, at most, make his careful way 
through an occasional gap, by all means let him do so ; he will 
not, perhaps, see very much of the sport, but that, after all, is 
nobody's concern but his own. If, on the other hand, it is his 
opinion that hunting can yield no amusement deserving the 
name to anyone who is not in the same field with the hounds, 
again by all means let him get there and keep there if he can. 
Of the two classes into which hunting men may be broadly 
divided, the men who ride to hunt, and the men who hunt to 
ride, it should always be remembered that the sportsman, as 
distinguished from the mere hunting man, will be found in 
the former. The latter, however, may be further subdivided. 
There are those who hunt for the sheer sake of riding hard. In 
the list of their amusements fences occupy a much more promi- 
nent place than foxes or hounds, and who would regard the fastest 
and straightest gallop in the world over the Berkshire or Sussex 
downs as great an infliction as a blank day in Leicestershire. 
There are those again who, like the good ' Spectator,' make no 
account of glory ; who, if they successfully negotiate an accom- 
modating sheep hurdle, are inclined with Dogberry ' to give God 
thanks, and make no boast of it,' and if hounds will run away 
from them, follow the advice of the same sagacious philosopher 
and ' let them go.' Such men hunt for the sake of the exer- 
cise, the fresh air, the pleasure of meeting their friends, the 
diversion from the routine of every-day life. Often enough they 
are good sportsmen, too, and if they seldom, perhaps, see a fox 
handsomely killed, enjoy as much as anyone to see him hand- 
somely found. Every hunt knows one or more of such men ; 
men who know the name and pedigree of every hound in the 
pack, the line from every covert, the most practicable place in 
every fence, the ford to every brook, every gate and every by- 
road in the whole country. Often thus, without risking their 


necks more than, if as much as, we do every time we get into a 
Hansom cab in the London streets, they will see far more of 
the day's fun, and give a far better account of it, than the most 
persevering and dauntless of 'bruisers.' Honest, reputable, 
and blameless members of the great community of fox hunters, 
enjoying themselves without any pretence or parade, jealous of 
no man's glory, interfering with no man's sport, they are entitled 
at least to our hearty respect if not to our admiration. 

But the man who is not entitled to our respect is he who 
does make parade and pretence ; who at the covert- side is a 
thing of beauty, indeed ; who from the crown of his glossy hat 
to the sole of his yet glossier boot is, sartorially speaking, 
the ideal man, whole, complete, polished to the finger nail. 
Decked with the sweetest and choicest of flowers, soothed 
and supported by the largest of cigars, perched on a nag fit to 
carry Caesar's fortunes, he is by far the most conspicuous and 
splendid object there, till the fox is found, and then becomes 
conspicuous only by his absence. Not that dandyism is in- 
compatible with the hardest and straightest riding. The 
records of the hunting field have proved that over and over 
again, and prove it every day, just as in that larger and bloodier 
field of which it is the image, the dandies have ever held their 
own since that famous day in the pass of Thermopylae when 
the Persian looked with awe on the Spartans dressing their 
long hair for their last battle. It is the business of every 
gentleman to dress himself as well as his means will permit, 
and in the fashion which the custom of his day prescribes. A 
conspicuous disregard of custom is just as contemptible a form 
of affectation as a too slavish adherence to it ; and he who 
noisily affects to despise the sumptuary amenities of his time := 
influenced by precisely the same motive as he who carries 
their observance to a point beyond the limits of taste and 
reason namely, a vulgar affectation of singularity. Brummell 
does not seem to have been a very wise man ; but he was wise, 
at least, in his own affairs, when he said that the best-dressed 
man was the man whose dress attracted least notice. In these 


sober-suited days a certain amount of splendour mast neces- 
sarily seem to belong to the hunting field, and the dandies of 
Melton and Market Harboro' are, no doubt, very great dandies 
indeed, as were their fathers before them. But when they can 
carry their splendours well to the front for forty minutes from 
Ranksboro' Gorse or the Coplow, nor fear to smirch them in the 
murky waters of the Whissendine, or the bullfinches of Ashby 
Pastures, no one would think of quarrelling with those minute 
and various sacrifices to the graces which your true hunting 
dandy would as soon think of omitting as he \\ould of turning 
aside from a nasty place for fear of soiling their beauty. It is 
only when those splendours are seen jogging along lanes, or 
waiting their turn at gates and gaps, that they have the effect 
of making their wearer ridiculous. In the hunting field, as 
everywhere else, a humbug is a bad man. If your style of riding 
be quiet, it is well that your appearance should be ' in concate- 
nation accordingly.' 

No man, then, deserves to be ridiculed or despised because 
he has not the courage and the skill necessary to enable him 
to ride close and straight to hounds when they are really 
running over a strongly fenced country, provided always that 
he is careful not to assume the virtue that he has not. It is 
clear that if it were to be regarded as a canon law of hunting 
that no man should make his appearance at the covert side 
unless he be prepared to follow the fortunes of the pack to 
the bitter end, like the lover in Moore's poem, 

Through joy and through torment, through glory and shame, 

a great number of honest souls would be arbitrarily deprived of 
an innocent and healthful amusement. Nay, it will often 
happen that a man who can ride, and does when the fit is on 
him, for some reason or other disinclination, ill-health, a dis- 
appointment in the stable, or any of those thousand and one 
ills to which fox-hunting flesh is heir- -will for the nonce content 
himself with the part of spectator from the back of some safe 
and quiet hack, or possibly even on wheels. Such a one will, 


of course, know well how to behave himself in such circum- 
stances, but for the benefit of the less initiated, the more uni- 
formly unambitious, a few simple rules may not be out of place. 
The first advice we should be inclined to give to a stranger 
in the land would be follow a leader advice, we may observe 
in passing, which holds good alike for those who intend ' going ' 
as for those who do not. However experienced in the art of 
road-riding a man may be and an art be assured it is how- 
ever keen may be his eye for a country, it is tolerably clear 
that if he has never been in that country and along those roads 
before, there is likely to be disappointment somewhere before 
the day is over. So long as the disappointment is individual 
only it is of no particular moment save to the individual. 
But he who trcts along strange roads in pursuit of his own 
nose, knowing not where he is going, or, more important still, 
where the fox is likely to be going, may not at all improbably 
find himself sooner or later in the unenviable position of ' the 
man who has headed the fox' words which may hardly even 
be written without a sense of unutterable misery and shame. 
Even when by some untoward train of circumstances beyond 
the best sportsman's control he finds himself in this humiliating 
position he must expect scant mercy or justice. But when he 
rides into it along a line of roads, when, in short, he has spoiled 
other people's sport, as he will probably be told, because he 
dare not share in it himself, then his case is desperate indeed. 
' Hanging,' as that eloquent nobleman Lord Scamperdale once 
observed, 'is too good for him.' But we have said enough : it 
is, indeed, a situation 

To be dreamed of, not to tell. 

The unaspiring adherent to Macadam will do well, then, to 
provide himself with a leader, and he need never be at a loss to 
find one. Every hunt has one or more skilful and well-trusted 
pilots, who will be able to show him all the sport possible on 
such conditions, without risking his own neck, or spoiling the 
fun of others. Should he, however, by some mischance find 



himself left to his own guidance, remember this : always to keep 
well down wind, to have his eyes well in front of him, and his 
ears well open, whereby he will not only avoid any too sudden 
intrusion on the line, but may even prove of some use at a 
critical moment to his more daring neighbours : 

He who has watched, not shared the fight, 
Knows how the day has gone. 

And it is very possible that the judicious roadster may be able 
on occasions to tell the huntsman a little more about his fox 
than that functionary is always in a position himself to know. 
Finally and this for his own especial comfort and safety 
let him remember that, as has been pertinently observed, 
the man who never jumps at all can by no possibility be 
' pounded,' and let him never enter a field without being as 
certain of his egress as of his ingress. In the hunting field, as 
elsewhere, half measures will always prove fatal in the long run. 
If he means 'going,' let him 'go;' if he means riding the 
roads, let him ride them. Not to every man falls the luck 
that fell to Mr. Sawyer on the memorable day he rode Marathon 
to sell. But to turn to the riders. 

Egerton Warburton has, with his usual dexterity, hit off the 
ideal of a ' good man to "hounds : ' 

Give me the man to whom nought comes amiss, 
One horse or another, that country or this ; 
Who through falls or bad starts undauntedly still 
Rides up to the motto, be with them I will. 

It might be broadly said that the opposite of this ideal would 
be a good definition of a bad man. The man who never gets 
a start, who is always falling, who can only go well on a par- 
ticular sort of horse, over a particular sort of country, on a 
particular sort of day one could hardly with truth speak of 
such a one as a ' good man to hounds,' however forward he 
might show when all his necessary conditions were granted. 
But lower still in the scale, and far lower, comes the man of 
excuses ; he who has an explanation for every contingency., a 


reason why for every mishap. Now his ' confounded fellow ' 
has given him the wrong bridle, now the wrong saddle ; this 
time his stirrups are too short, that time his curb chain was 
too tight the lineal descendant of Captain Guano, that dis- 
tinguished follower of the ' Mangeysterne ' hounds, may be 
met with to-day in every county of England. Sometimes a 
hound crosses him at a critical moment ; sometimes his good 
nature prevails, and he forfeits his place, if not his day's sport, 
to help a friend ; at others, just at that precious moment when 
the crowd have been choked off, and the real good ones have 
settled to their work, he loses a shoe. Of this favourite device 
to conceal the failings either of horse or rider, an amusing 
story is told. During a very fast and straight gallop in 
Leicestershire a rider was observed walking his horse leisurely 
down a field towards a stiff fence, holding a shoe in his hand. 
' What's the matter ? ' hailed a passing friend, ' why don't you 
screw him at it ? ' A sorrowful shake of the head, with a demon- 
stration of the shoe, was the only answer. ' Why, my good 
fellow,' observed a too curious third party, ' your horse has got 
four shoes on \ ' In short, with men of these delicate suscepti- 
bilities, everybody and everything is to blame except their own 
want of pluck, decision, or skill. 

No doubt the first essential to a good rider to hounds is 
courage. True, courage alone will not make one, but without 
courage, it may be said that all other qualities, the finest hands, 
the firmest seat, the surest judgment, are of no avail. Now, 
courage is of two sorts, moral and physical, and of these the 
first, in the hunting field as every \vhere else, is the rarest. 
The man who has not the latter in sufficient quantity to enable 
him to make his way over a stiffly fenced country, may possibly 
have enough of the former to confess his weakness. From 
such we withhold our contempt ; though perhaps not our pity. 
But for one of these you will probably find twenty of those. 
How often, too, one hears it said of a young and inexperienced 
rider : ' So-and-so goes like a fool, who doesn't know his 
danger ; wait till he has had a real bad fall, and see how he 

O 2 


will go then.' The saying is ill-natured, no doubt, and often 
enough contradicted by subsequent facts ; nevertheless it has a 
spice of truth in it. These two sorts of courage, the courage 
of sheer ignorance, rashness or foolhardiness, if you like to call 
it so, and the courage of judgment, which is the true courage, 
are very fairly distinguished by the following story. On the 
morning of that famous October day in Balaclava valley, after 
the splendid charge of our heavy cavalry had broken and 
scattered to the winds more than twice their number of Russian 
horse, while our Light Brigade were waiting the fatal order 
which poor Nolan was to bring them, two grim war-worn 
veterans, as they sat on their horses in the ranks waiting for the 
next move, were watching a young trooper near them tickling 
his comrade's horse to make it kick. ' Look at Bill,' said one 
of them admiringly, ' ain't he a rare good plucked one ? ' ' Not 
a bit of it,' was the answer, ' he's only a fool ; he don't know his 
danger. Now you and I, mate, have been at this game before. 
We do know our danger, and cursedly afraid of it we are. But 
we can't run away, and we wouldn't if we could. We're the real 
good plucked ones.' It is probable that the young rider whose 
heart is really in the right place will in time acquire this better 
sort of courage, and that one or two rattling falls, instead of 
destroying his pluck, will improve it into that still more valuable 
and rarer quality we call nerve ; and thus will he develop into the 
first-rate performer who, thoroughly conscious of all the hazards 
he runs, is determined to shirk none of them that are necessary, 
but who, by experience and judgment, has learned how far they 
may be minimised, and is equally determined to throw no one 
of his lessons away. 

Nerve and pluck are two distinct qualities, though both 
belong to the genus courage. Whyte-Melville very well sepa- 
rates them when he says, ' The latter takes us into a difficulty, 
the former brings us out of it ; ' and he goes on more minutely 
to define them thus : ' I conceive the first to be a moral 
quality, the result of education, sentiment, self-respect, and 
certain high aspirations of the intellect ; the second a gift of 


nature dependent upon the health, the circulation, and the 
liver. As memory to imagination in the student, so is nerve to 
pluck in the horseman. Not the more brilliant quality, nor the 
more captivating, but sound, lasting, available for all emer- 
gencies, and sure to conquer in the long run.' Probably no 
man ever rode to hounds who united these two qualities in 
a more striking degree than Assheton Smith, and his three 
favourite maxims were : Throw your heart over and your horse is 
sure to f allow ; there is no place that you can't get over with a fall ; 
and no man can be called a good rider till he knows how to fall. 

Of the first and last of these maxims the truth is indisput- 
able, and so, in a sense, is it with the second. No man, 
whatever may be the country he hunts in, can make up his 
mind to really see where hounds go and what they are doing, 
without taking falls into account. He must be prepared for 
them, and he will have them. Nevertheless the tyro will do 
well to remember that his primary business in the hunting field 
is to get over his fences without falls ; that the first and most 
obvious motive of the parcnership between horse and rider is 
that it should be firm and lasting, not frail and intermittent. 
While, therefore, taking all possible contingencies into account, 
his first care should be to so manage matters that he and his 
companion may encompass their fences together and not sepa- 
rately. There was no spice of bravado in Assheton Smith's 
saying ; neither, doing what he did, can he be held to have 
fallen unnecessarily. Whether he was hunting the hounds 
himself or not, his one fixed, unalterable resolve was always to 
go into the same field with them. Nor did he, as did most of 
his straight-going contemporaries, ride finished hunters, or as a 
rule give long prices. Some of his best nags were notoriously 
such as many men, and good riders too, could have done 
nothing with ; some, indeed, are said to have been such as few 
men would even have cared to mount. ' He entertained,' it has 
been said, ' no fancies as to size, action, above all peculiarities 
in mouths and tempers. Little or big, sulky, violent, or restive, 
if a horse could gallop and jump, he was a hunter the moment 


he found himself between the legs of Tom Smith.' Certainly 
no man ever put his theories into practice more zealously or 
more successfully than he. For nearly fifty years of his life he 
had been a master of hounds. When close upon his eightieth 
year, old Tom Wingfield, who had been with him when he 
hunted the Quorn, asked him whether he could manage ' them 
there big places ' as well as he did ' in old Jack O'Lantern's 
days,' and he could honestly answer, ' I hear no complaints, and 
I believe my nerve is as good as ever.' Only two years before 
he died he had no less than three falls in one day, and was 
none the worse for them ! It has been computed that in the 
heyday of his fame his average of falls was from sixty to seventy 
a season, and he was never hurt but once ! His light weight, 
his iron constitution, and temperate habits, served him well, of 
course ; it may be admitted, too, that he was an exceptionally 
lucky man. But his cool head, unshaken nerve, and thorough 
knowledge of horses, had really enabled him, as one may say, to 
reduce the art of falling to a science, though it would have 
been difficult probably, for him or anybody, to formulate its 
precepts in words. One of his favourite rules was, when he 
fancied a fall was likely, always to put his horse at the fence 
aslant, so that, if his fancy was proved fact, the animal might 
keep at least one leg free, and fall on its side clear of its rider. 
Another famous follower of this rule was Mr. Greene, the 
Squire of Rolleston,- who in his youth had sat at the feet of 
Mr. Smith. There are two other golden rules that the young 
rider will do well to bear also in mind : never to part company 
with your horse till the last moment, and never to leave go of the 

Granted, then, that the rider has this primal gift of courage, 
and that he possesses both its component parts of pluck and 
nerve, or, as they may be now elegantly called, valour and dis- 
cretion, there remain to make him really a good man, seat, 
hands, judgment. The combination of all three in their proper 
degrees results in a perfect horseman. 

Of all these essentials the seat is the only one that can 



really be taught, and to learn it there is, perhaps, no better plan 
than to practise riding without stirrups. We are supposing, of 
course, that the preliminary education that most English boys 
receive either from their father or the family coachman has 
not been neglected. In all athletic sports the child must be 
father to the man. Without some experience at least in boy- 
hood, no man is ever likely to attain much proficiency in the 

' Never part company till the last moment.' 

saddle, at any rate in the hunting saddle. But teaching, even 
in this matter, is only of avail up to a certain point, and after 
the young rider has mastered his alphabet, so to speak, he must 
do the rest pretty much for himself. 

To some men a good seat comes, as it were, naturally ; to 
others, on the contrary, it may be said to come with great 
difficulty; a graceful seat perhaps never. Short legs and round 
thighs are certainly terrible impediments either to a firm or a 


graceful seat ; they tend to produce that most unlovely and 
unsafe appearance styled by Sir Bellingham Graham a ' wash- 
ball seat.' Still, even with these drawbacks, a man may 
learn how to sit in his saddle with comfort to himself and his 
horse (the one, as Mr. Jorrocks shrewdly observes, being 'in 
all humane probability ' identical with the other), though he 
may not wholly satisfy a lady's eye for the picturesque, if only 
he will set about it in the right way. It is probable that the 
Athenians were not as eminent in horsemanship as in most 
other accomplishments ; but no one can go into that room in 
the British Museum where the spoils of the Parthenon are 
stored without seeing at a glance that they knew well what a 
good seat on horseback should be. The riders in the famous 
Frieze bestride their steeds bare-backed and without stirrups, 
but they are one and all sitting precisely in the right place, that 
is to say, in the very centre of the saddle, did a saddle form part 
of their equipment. The weight of the body is thus thrown on 
that part of the horse's spine, immediately behind the withers, 
which is most capable of sustaining it. Starting from this 
point the most inexperienced rider will be surprised to find 
how easily his body adapts itself to the motions of the horse ; 
starting from any other he will probably, and really not un- 
naturally, jump to the conclusion that he has been cursed by 
fortune with an animal of abnormally -rough and unsympathetic 
paces, the one horse in the world that 'no fellow could sit.' 

But a seat, to be a really good one, should be firm, as well 
as graceful, should be good to wear as well as to look at. 
Above the waist the body should be light, supple, giving and 
taking with every movement of the horse ; below it should be 
strong as iron, and as unyielding. The distinction between 
riding by grip and riding by balance, on which a good deal 
of talk is sometimes expended, is a foolish one. ' As well,' 
observes Whyte-Melville, ' might a man say he played the 
fiddle by finger or by ear} To insure a good seat there must 
be both, and each in its proper proportion ; balance above the 
saddle, grip below it ; indeed, it is practically impossible to 


really secure the one without the other, as any man may prove 
foi himself : the proper balance of the upper limbs can only be 
preserved by the firmness of the lower. One often hears of a 
resolute rider holding a shifty horse in such a grasp that, with 
the worst intentions in the world, refusal is quite out of the 
question. Now, this grasp is quite as much a matter of the 
legs as the hands, and a horse is quite as quick to understand 
and appreciate the meaning of the former as of the latter. 
The good Mr. Greene, whose hand and seat were so light as to 
have won him the nickname of ' the Fly,' always struck people 
as intimating his will to his horse more by knee-pressure than 
anything else. Most horses, it should be remembered, will gauge 
the quality of their riders in a much shorter time than the gene- 
rality of riders will gauge the quality of animals beneath them. 
A story is told of the wonderful sympathy Assheton Smith always 
contrived to establish between his horse and himself, which shows 
by what slight means this mutual understanding, when once 
established, can be maintained. He had mounted a friend 
upon one of the best horses then in his stable, Cicero by name. 
Hounds were running fast over the grass, and, as usual, Smith 
was at their stern, with his friend at his side. Before them 
stretched a most uncompromising flight of rails, which Smith 
saw was not much to the taste of his friend, and was likely, 
therefore, to prove equally distasteful to Cicero. As they 
neared the obstacle Smith removed the irresolution at any rate 
of the horse by the exclamation, ' Come up, Cicero,' and the 
moment that well-known voice was heard, all thought of refusal 
passed out of Cicero's head. The rails were cleared ; but, as 
Cicero's rider was not quite so susceptible of sympathy, they 
were cleared, as one may say, in detachments, though luckily 
with no worse effect to the biped than a roll on the grass. A 
horse who has had any experience of humanity, as soon as his 
rider has settled himself on the saddle, will generally form a 
pretty shrewd opinion of that rider's intentions ; and the way 
the human legs are placed against his flanks will help him to 
that opinion as much as anything else. 


The ease and security of the seat, as well as its appearance, 
will depend much on the length of the stirrups ; and that will, 
in its turn, depend much on the conformity both of the ridec 
and the horse. A man who has to contend against these 
natural obstacles to horsemanship, which we have already 
indicated, will have to ride in shorter stirrups than one more 
suitably formed for the saddle. On a horse rather low in the 
withers, and very strong in the quarters, shorter stirrups, too, will 
be found necessary, however the man may be formed. It 
may be taken as a good general rule for the majority of men 
on the majority of horses, that that length of the stirrup 
leathers will be found at once the most comfortable, and 
affording the firmest hold, which raises a man clear of his 
horse's withers when he stands up in his stirrups with his feet 

It will be hardly needful to expatiate on the inflections of 
the body necessary to preserve the equilibrium while the horse 
is in the act of leaping. The mere instinct of self-preservation 
which is native in every breast would be sufficient to teach this 
primary lesson, which indeed is generally learnt on the rider's 
first mount, the nursery rocking horse ; though, to be sure, one 
sometimes sees it strangely forgotten in the hunting field. It 
may, however, be worth while to remark that here again the 
movement of the body should be mainly from the hips upwards. 
Down thence to the knee the legs should retain their original 
position, but from the knee, as the horse descends, they should 
be inclined slightly backwards. This, too, may seem a simple 
rule enough, almost an inevitable one ; but, as a matter of fact, 
one often sees it violated, not only in the field, but often in 
books, and most often in the illustrations to books. If the feet 
be thrust forward, so that the whole leg be in a direct line from 
the hip downwards, the shock when the horse lands, especially 
over a drop fence or on hard ground, will be so violent, that the 
rider, if he does not actually lose it, will at least find some 
difficulty in keeping his seat, besides running the risk, if the 
fence be a high one, of strain or rupture. No man, if he leaps 


a fence on his own feet, comes to the ground with his legs in a 
stiff unyielding line at any rate, if he does so once, he will 
take good care not to do so again ; and the principle of ' give 
and take ' holds equally good on horseback. We were lately 
turning over the pages of the ' Life of AnotherTom Smith,' l and 
came across a case in point. When this gentleman was hunt- 
ing the Craven country, he came one day to the wall of Elcot 
Park, six feet two inches in height. The hounds made their 
way through the holes left at the bottom for game to pass, and 
the field made for a door. Mr. Smith, however, rode at the 
wall. The first time his horse refused, but the second time 
they cleared the desperate leap. On reaching the ground on 
the other side, however, the horse's fore-legs gave way, and he 
came down on his chest, his rider's feet being dashed with such 
violence against the ground that when the rest of the field came 
round through the door they found him unconscious, and it was 
three weeks before he could get again into the saddle. This 
story is accompanied by an illustration from the pencil of the 
adventurous sportsman, and from his attitude in the saddle, the 
body thrown very far back and the legs thrust very far forward, 
the chief wonder of the reader must be that Mr. Smith was not 
very much more seriously injured than he was. 

Nor can the young rider be cautioned too much against 
that still so common practice of raising the whip-hand in the air 
while taking a fence. It not only prevents him from giving 
that support to his horse that may be necessary on landing, but 
it also throws the body off its balance, and, as a necessary con- 
sequence, tends to destroy the balance of the horse as well. It 
is really a more evil practice than that other one, which is 
occasionally seen, of grasping the cantle of the saddle. If any 
support is needed, placing one hand on the pummel of the saddle 
as the horse descends is far better than ' catching hold behind.' 
This in the case of old and heavy riders, when ' creeping ' a drop 
fence, may occasionally be condoned, though hardly recom- 

1 Sporting Incidents in the Life of Another Tom Smith. This is the 
Mr. Smith to whose Diary of a Huntsman there is an allusion in ch. iv. 


mended ; but the other, never. In nearly all the old hunting 
pictures, the riders will be seen not only taking their fences 
with their whip-hands high in air, but going at them in the same 
attitude, and no matter what the description of fence, always at 
the same headlong pace. Like the horsemen in Macaulay's 
poem who carried inland the news of the coming of the Spanish 
Armada, these fiery riders are seen on the canvases of Ferneley 
and Alken charging over the Leicestershire pastures ' with loose 
rein and bloody spur,' as though each one had in his pocket 
any number of spare necks both for himself and his horse. It 
adds to the picturesqueness of the scene, no doubt, it may also 
make the unskilful ' wonder with a foolish face of praise ; ' but 
it will certainly make the ' judicious grieve.' And if this were 
really the style of riding popular among those mighty men of 
old, the tales of their prowess must certainly lose a little of their 
currency. Remembering, however, Assheton Smith's saying, 
' Whenever you see a man going a hundred miles an hour at his 
fences, depend upon it that man funks,' one may fairly suppose 
that the fault lay with the painters and not with their subjects. 
To write of hands and judgment is indeed a difficult matter. 
One may write of them, of course, for ever and ever, but how 
little ' forwarder ' will mere writing get our young friend ! When 
Izaak Walton sat down to pen his ' Pleasant Curiosity of Fish 
and Fishing,' he first took care, like the wise man he was, to 
guard himself about with the following precaution or ' letter of 
advice ' to his readers : ' Now for the Art of catching fish ; that 
is to say, how to make the man that was none to be an Angler 
by a book, he that undertakes it shall undertake a harder task 
than Mr. Hales, a most valiant and excellent fencer, who in a 
printed book called a " Private School of Defence " undertook 
to teach that art or science, and was laughed at for his labour ; 
not but that many useful things might be learned by that book, 
but he was laughed at because that Art was not to be taught by 
words, but practice ; and so must Angling.' And so, with 
even more confidence may we say, must Riding. Of all the 
many and intricate branches of the sport of hunting, there is 


none in which the old rule of the relative value of an ounce 
of practice and a ton of theory holds so good as in that comprised 
under the head of Riding to Hounds, and of this particular 
department, again, incomparably the most difficult to treat of 
is that known as Hand. One might say of it, indeed, as 
Mr. Matthew Arnold has said of the 'Grand Style:' it cannot 
be analysed or defined ; it can only be spiritually discerned. 

It is, perhaps, too much to say that the gift of hands, like 
1 reading and writing,' comes by nature ; but it is certainly a gift 
that some men can never acquire, with all the experience in 
the world. Again, though one can hardly say that a rider 
blessed with a good nerve will also have good hands, it is 
pretty nearly certain that without the former the latter will 
not be found, or, at least will be found wanting when most 
necessary. Nerve and presence of mind are synonymous 
terms, and presence of mind is that quality which shows a man 
at a glance exactly what to do or, at any rate, what not to do, at 
the critical moment. Consequently an experienced rider with 
presence of mind and pluck (and the one can hardly exist with- 
out the other) will generally be found to have pretty good hands, 
a good seat being of course understood. At least, if he is not 
able to perform those wonderful feats with a horse's mouth such 
as the late Lords Gardner and Wilton, for example, were famous 
for, he will abstain from vexing, distressing, or flurrying his horse. 
If he cannot always do the one thing needful at the proper 
moment, he will do none of those many things that are not only 
never needful at any moment, but absolutely fatal at all moments. 

About as good a piece of general advice as could be given 
on this score to the young rider, if he be riding a trained hunter, 
whom he knows, and who knows him, would be to leave him 
alone. Keep him 'in hand;' keep your hold of the bridle, and 
let the horse feel you have hold of it ; the best and cleverest 
of hunters will want support at times. Moreover, as he is not 
gifted with the spirit of prophecy (though it is wonderful how 
near his instinct often approaches thereto), it is impossible for 
him to be quite certain what waits for him and you on the 


other side. 1 Your point of vision is higher than his, and 
often the uncertainty becomes to you a certainty sooner than 
it does to him. You must be prepared therefore to stop him 
almost in the last stride if necessary, or at any rate to turn 
him, and this no man can do, however fine the mouth he has to 
deal with, however strong his own grasp, if he rides at his fences 
in that loose-reined fly-away fashion our elder painters were so 
fond of depicting. But supposing both rider and horse are 
willing to go, and the latter has proved his ability, then let the 
former leave him alone. A wise old rider was wont to say, 
' People talk about size and shape, shoulders, quarters, blood, 
bone and muscle, but for my part give me a hunter with brains. 
He has to take care of the biggest fool of the two, and think for 
both !' A young rider will do well to bear this saying in mind, 
and believe that his horse knows more about the business than 
he does. Many of us have seen wonderful feats wrought in the 
hunting field by human hands, more of us have read of them : 
horses all fire and fury made handy as poodles, sure-footed as 
cats, creeping up and down banks, squeezing between trees, and 
tripping in and out between doubles, crawling here, flying there, 
turned on half-a-crown, as the saying goes, managed almost like 
horses in a circus. Such things can be done, are done every 
day ; but such things, Oh young rider, you were best to believe 
as yet ' are not for thee.' 

If your horse be well-fed, and in blooming condition, 
Well up to the country and up to your weight ; 
O, then give the reins to your youthful ambition, 
Sit down in the saddle and keep his head straight. 

1 A remarkable instance of this prophetic instinct is thus given by ' The 
Druid.' 'As regards leaping, one of the cleverest things we remember was 
done some years since by a Belzoni-bred hunter who had never been known to 
refuse a fence before. A lad of about fifteen was riding him as straight as an 
arrow to hounds, and put him at an apparently easy bank and rails, when he 
suddenly closed up in his stride about twenty yards from it, and refused to face 
it. On examination there proved to be an old stone quarry on the other side ; 
the lad thought it a good joke, but the horse lost all his jumping nerve from 
that hour.' The Post and tlie Paddock, ch. xiii 

THE R1DEX. 207 

While ambition is still youthful, it had best, perhaps, be 
satisfied with the result of the conditions framed in these lines, 
remembering only not to give the reins too literally. 

How often we hear a woman praised for her hands ; how 
often hear it said that the gentler sex have naturally better 
hands than we men. Partly, no doubt, this is because they are 
the ' gentler sex,' because they have not the strength to pull and 
haul a horse about that we, alas ! have. But mainly it comes 
from this, that they are content to leave their horses alone. 
Mounted, as they mostly are, and certainly always should be, on 
thoroughly trained and experienced hunters, they are satisfied 
to leave everything to the horse ; it is his business to carry 
them, theirs to be carried. Whether this happy state of confi- 
dence arises from their superior tact, or from ignorance, matters 
nothing. The result remains, that a woman, however straight 
she goes, is much more rarely seen in difficulties than a man. 
To Diana we shall not presume to offer any advice, the more so 
because more than one of her own sex has already written on 
this score ; and when a woman is competent to instruct her 
own kind, on this or any other subject, she will naturally know 
much better what to say and how to say it than a man can. 

There remains then, judgment, and of this what can be 
said ? Whatever else may come by nature this must come by 
experience. Nor by experience alone. ' Reading,' once wrote 
a great man to his son, 'and much reading is good ; but the 
power of diversifying the matter infinitely in your mind, and 
of applying it to every occasion that arises, is far better.' 
Following hounds across a country through a lifetime will do 
you little good if you do not keep your eyes open, do not 
observe what other men and horses are doing, what the 
hounds are doing, ay, and what the fox, too, is doing. By 
what secret does that man, who you can see is not so well 
mounted as yourself, invariably manage to beat you ? How is 
it that he never seems to be going half the pace that you are 
conscious of, that he always seems to have the weakest and 
smallest place in the fence before him, the soundest ground to 


gallop on ? How is it that he always seems to anticipate every turn 
of the hounds ? How is it that, no matter how deep the country, 
how hot the pace, how big and how frequent the fences, yet at 
the end of the run, which he invariably manages to reach be- 
fore you, his nag is in so much better plight than yours ? than 
yours which has all the blood of all the equine Howards in its 
veins, and is as well lodged and as well cared for almost as one 
of 'Ouida's' dandy guardsmen. It is judgment that does it all. 
The man with a head on his shoulders will always get the best 
of it here in the hunting field as elsewhere 'in among the 
throngs of men.' Some of us perhaps still remember with 
grateful feelings poor Mayne-Reid's enchanting romances, as we 
used to think them once upon a time. One of the most start- 
ling of them, 'The Headless Horseman,' introduced the hero to 
us with some such words as these : ' Something is wanting to 
this solitary rider. What can it be ? Good heavens ! it is the 
head.' That is precisely the something wanting to so many of 
our horsemen, and the something that must be got by everyone 
who aspires to be ranked among his fellows as a really ' good 
man to hounds.' 

But how to get it ? asks the impatient youth. Can no one 
teach it me ? Is nothing then to be learned from books ? Have 
all these wise men, from old Markham to Why te- Melville, 
written in vain ? Far be it from us to say so. Many admirable 
lessons are there contained in these books, inspired by the full- 
ness of knowledge and of the heart, lessons wherefrom he who 
is ' to the manner born ' may no doubt learn much. The rider 
who is also a reader, and blessed with a good memory, should 
he ever find himself in a situation precisely similar to one he 
remembers to have been treated of in his books, may then put 
his precepts into practice, and no doubt prosper greatly. But 
the difficulty is that in hard fact situations are so very rarely 
precisely similar to those one reads of in books. A professor of 
mathematics at Oxford once discovered a system by which the 
hazard of betting could be reduced to a certainty ; a mathe- 
matical certainty, for he did not profess to have proved his 


system by practice. Like a generous man he gave his dis- 
covery to the public, and the public, of course, were very much 
interested in it. One by one he answered all objections, till 
the unknowing ones began to think that here at last was really 
the philosopher's stone. But one fine day a knowing one 
stepped in and demolished his El Dorado with a word, show- 
ing that if on every race every bookmaker was prepared at any 
moment to give or take on every horse precisely the odds, no 
more and no less, you wished to take or give, then your system 
would be infallible, but not till then. 

Now it is pretty much the same with verbal lessons on 
riding. If at any particular crisis all the circumstances exactly 
tally with those your teacher has selected for the purpose of his 
lesson, well and good. If you have read with understanding, 
and your memory be good, as we have already said, you may 
come triumphantly through the difficulty. But how rarely will 
that happen ! Take a single instance. We all know that we 
should ride fast at water and slow at timber. Theoretically the 
advice is excellent ; no advice could be more so. But can any 
rider of experience say honestly that he has not often been 
obliged to throw it to the wind ? Some horses must be ridden 


quickly at all their fences ; some horses must be ridden slowly. 
A first-rate rider used to say that he not only rode every horse 
differently, but he rode the same horse differently at every 
fence. Whyte-Melville, who records this saying, explains it 
thus : ' He had his system of course, like every other master of 
the art, but it admitted of endless variations according to cir- 
cumstances and the exigencies of the case.' Elsewhere he gives 
instances from his own personal observation of the various ways 
good riders put their horses at timber. ' Lord Wilton ' (he was 
writing in 1878) ' seems to me to ride at timber a turn slower 
than usual, Lord Grey a turn faster. Whether father and son 
differ in theory I am unable to say, I can only affirm that they 
both are undeniable in practice. Mr. Fellowes, of Shottisham, 
perhaps the best of his day, and Mr. Gilmour, facile princeps, 
almost walk up to this kind of leap ; Colonel, now General 



Pearson, known for so many seasons as the " flying Captain," 
charges it like a squadron of Sikh Cavalry ; Captain Arthur 
Smith pulls back to a trot ; Lord Carrington scarcely shortens 
the stride of his gallop. Who shall decide between such pro- 
fessors ? ' Who, indeed ? Much depends on circumstances, more 
perhaps on horses. That is about the sum-total of all that can 
be said, and the best man is he who can best adapt his horse to 
the circumstances, or, if haply he get the chance, the circum- 
stances to his horse. 

Take your own Ihte, and keep //, is a piece of advice one 
often hears airily given to young riders, more often, perhaps, 
reads it. Like much other advice, it presupposes conditions 
under which the young rider, at any rate, is not often able to 
work. It presupposes, in the first place, an intimate knowledge 
of the country he is riding over. Now young riders mostly 
hunt from home, as the saying goes which is, indeed, by far 
the most agreeable and rational form of enjoying the sport for 
all riders ; and we may therefore suppose that he has some, if 
only a vague, idea of the lie of the ground and the nature of the 
fences. But in the summer the country looks very different 
from what it does in the winter. Rambling about it leisurely, 
when Nature has ' hung her mantle green ' on every copse and 
hedgerow, one gets but a very poor idea of its characteristics 
and qualities as they present themselves from the back of a 
galloping horse. It is under the first of these aspects that our 
young friend is probably most familiar with the country in which 
he lives, and well as he may think he knows it in such guise, he 
will be astonished to find how much in the dark he really is 
when he comes to steer a horse across it when hounds are 
running. Some men, indeed, seem to be born with ' an eye to 
a country,' as the saying goes, which, with practice, develops 
almost into a sort of instinct, or spirit of prophecy ; so much 
so that were they to be dropped, ready mounted, booted, 
and spurred, into almost any field in England through which 
hounds were running, they would incontinently find the best and 
quickest way out of it. Some such men are generally to be 



found in every hunt, and the tyro will hardly do better than 
take such a one for his guide. But let him remember to give 
his pilot plenty of room. At fifty yards' distance he can see 
perfectly well what his leader is doing, and any nearer he runs 
the risk of jumping on him should any mishap occur on the 
other side of the fence, or of galloping into him should one 
occur on this than which, to say nothing of the danger, 

'Give your pilot plenty of room.' 

nothing can be more unworthy of the name and character of a 
sportsman. Should he determine, however, to shift for him- 
self, wherever he may choose his own line, it must never be 
that of the hounds ; he must never, that is to say, ride 
exactly in their wake, but a little either to the right or the 
left. Nothing makes hounds so wild as being conscious of 
horses galloping in their track. With all his fire and dash 


the foxhound is really a timid animal, and finding a crowd 
of horses pressing on him, his sole idea will be to get away 
from them as fast and as far as he can without troubling his head 
much about the fox. The rider will of course choose his place, 
left or right, as the way of the Avind may determine ; for a fox 
will naturally as a rule run down wind, though not always. It 
is impossible to determine with any certainty which way a 
hunted animal will go ; and it will often happen that without 
any apparent reason, a fox will set his nose straight against the 
stiffest breeze. He will rarely, however, keep this course for 
long ; and in nine cases out of ten you will generally find 
yourself in the right place by keeping to leeward of the pack 
If the day be a still and clear one, no rule can be laid down. 
Here only experience, and that instinct we have spoken of will 
avail ; and if you have not them yourself, you must trust your- 
self to the guidance of those who have. 

When the ploughs are wet, choose always the furrow where 
the water lies, for there the ground will be hardest. Look out 
for rushes, where the grass shows indications of a swamp. 
Take ridge-and- furrow on the slant, where you cannot keep to 
the furrow. When riding at a brook, of which you know 
nothing, choose always the neighbourhood of a tree or bush, 
for there the bank will be firmest ; but if there be no growth 
of any kind on its edges, and nothing or nobody to guide you, 
cross where the hounds cross they follow the fox, and the fox 
naturally crosses at the narrowest point. Remember, too, 
that, though hounds go away fast, and you must go fast if you 
want to get away, with them, when once they and you have 
settled to your work, a run is never over till it is finished. Take 
every care of your horse, then, that is compatible with keeping 
your place. Pull him back to a trot whenever you can safely 
do so. Jump a small fence in preference to a large one, if you 
have the preference. Rid him of your weight whenever you 
can safely do so. However light you may ride, to him you 
can be light only by comparison. Even nine or ten stone is no 
joke to carry for nine or ten miles. Never holloa when you 


view a fox, till you are quite certain it is the fox, and even then 
it will do no harm ' to count twenty,' like Mr. Jorrocks, before 
you ejaculate. Even when hounds are at fault, to get their heads 
up is so much easier than to get them down again ; and they, 
remember, are even more excited than you are. These are 
simple rules, within the compass of everyone's observance ; 
but they are as sound as they are simple. 

Whyte-Melville in his ' Riding Recollections ' has devoted 
a chapter to the abuse of the spur, and he quotes the very high 
authority of George Fordham on his side. That admirable race 
rider, he says, ' wholly repudiates the tormentors,' arguing that 
they only make a horse shorten his stride, and 'shut up,' to use 
an expressive term, instead of struggling gallantly home. No 
doubt spurs are capable of abuse like everything else, whether 
it be an instrument of pleasure or pain. No doubt, too, a very 
young rider had better be allowed to chide his steed with an 
unarmed heel, especially if he propose to arm it with those 
monstrous lances the young Nimrods of the day delight to equip 
themselves with. But spurs unquestionably have their use. With 
a sulky or an ill-tempered horse, sometimes even with a timid 
one, they are often most effectual. They have, moreover, two 
advantages over the whip : firstly, they can be used without 
diminishing the strength of your grasp on the rein ; secondly, 
they can be used without giving the horse any warning of your 
intentions, while the mere act of taking up the whip will often 
change a dubious refusal into a certain one. Still they should 
always be used sparingly. The rowels of hunting spurs as 
now worn are no puny weapons, and with a generous horse the 
slightest touch of the sharp steel should be sufficient. Horses- 
as a rule, want control rather than coercion in the hunting field. 
But every rule has its exception, and even the freest and 
boldest horse will, like Homer, sometimes nod. When a stimluus 
is to be applied, or punishment inflicted, those means are the 
best which do their work quickest and with least display. In 
both these points the spur is supreme. Whyte-Melville hints 
that there is danger, in the case of a fall, of the buckle of the 


spur catching in the stirrup, and says that he ' cannot remember 
a single instance of a man's foot remaining fixed in the iron 
who was riding without spurs.' As a matter of fact we do hap- 
pen to remember such an instance an instance in which we 
ourselves unfortunately played a particular part ! Yet this never 
suggested to us the propriety of riding without stirrups. On 
the whole, this problematical danger is, we submit, more than 
balanced by the manifest advantages to be got from what its 
opponent allows at any rate to give a finished look to a well- 
made top-boot. But let the tyro be careful to bear this in mind : 
that the spur is to be applied only behind the girth. ' Do you 
take me; for a fool?' the tyro answers. Certainly not, my dear 
sir ; but if, after a hard day, you will, after dismounting from 
your gallant steed, be careful to examine him, you may possibly 
be surprised to -find that the particular spot, a hand's breadth 
behind the girth, is one of the very few places that have remained 
virgin to your steel. 

Finally, let the young rider bear always in mind that he owes 
everything to his horse, and do what he can to return the debt. 
After the day's work is over do not let him get cold and stiff. 
Move off as soon as you decently can, and keep him gently 
going till you get him home. If you have far to go, and the 
day has been a long and hard one, get him a few mouthfuls of 
good gruel if you can : you have probably had some mouth- 
fuls of something more inspiring than gruel, and he has appetites 
as well as you. But be careful of the place you put him in. 
See that there are no draughts ; throw a rug over his loins while 
he is at his food, and until you too stand in imperative need of 
some refreshment wait upon him at his. It is not much to do 
for him in return for all he has done for you. Ten minutes at 
the outside is quite long enough for the halt, unless the poor 
beast be in a very bad way indeed, and then, if the quarters are 
tolerably decent, it were better for him to stay there for the 
night, but you must stay with him. As a general rule, however, 
it is best for your horse as well as for yourself, to get home as 
soon as you can. By keeping up a steady even jog of some six 



miles an hour it is wonderful how quickly you get over the 
ground. It is not a pleasant pace, granted ; but he has been 
going, remember, all day at the pace which suited your conve- 
nience best ; it is not much to ask of you to go now at that 
which best suits his. Get off and walk by his side occasionally. 
It will be a world of relief to him, besides stretching your 
own legs. Regarding the horse from a selfish point of view 

' Get off and walk by his side occasionally.' 

only, you should never forget that the more care you take 
of him, the more care will he take of you. ' Of all our rela- 
tions,' says Whyte-Melville, ' with the dumb creation, there are 
none in which man has so entirely the best of it as in the one- 
sided partnership that exists between the horse and his rider.' 
Let it be your business to see that the profits of this partner- 
ship are not all on one side. They will be the larger and the more 
enduring the more the working partner gets his proper share. 




THE Shires are the eye of hunting England. There are indeed 
some who maintain that there is no hunting worthy of the 
name anywhere else : veterans who regard them as the poet's 
hero, who married the gardener's daughter, regarded the picture 

of his dead wife : 

the idol of my youth, 
The darling of my manhood, and alas ! 
Now the most blessed memory of mine age. 

Such a one would be that distinguished soldier who, as the 
story goes, when asked by a mild stranger if he had ever been 
out with the Crawley and Horsham, thundered in reply, ' No, 
sir ! I have never hunted with any hounds in my life but 

the Quorn and the Pytchley, and I'll take d d good care 

I never do ! ' an expression of opinion which, it may here be 
observed, the narrator of this .story by no means subscribes to. 
Geographically defined the bhiicc are limited to three 
counties, Leicestershire, Rutlandshire, and NorthampiunGhi 
But a geographical definition will not serve. A considerable 
part of the Belvoir country is, for instance, in Lincolnshire. Now 
to hunt with that famous pack is most certainly to hunt in the 
Shires ; to hunt with the Burton, the Blankney, or the Brocklesby, 
which also wage war with the foxes of Lincolnshire, is not. Again, 
Lord Ferrers' hounds, which hunt a little tract of country chipped 
off the north-west corner of the Quorn, are not held to be free 
of the guild. Neither is the Atherstone, part of whose hunting 
ground lies in Leicestershire ; nor the two Warwickshire packs, 
nor the Duke of Grafton's hounds, nor the Oakley, all of which 


g~> often into Northamptonshire. The distinction is really one 
of fashion, not of geography. By the SMres is meant the 
country hunted over by the following packs of hounds the 
Belvoir, the Cottesmore, the Quorn, including Sir Bache 
Cunard's, and the Pytchley. So some unwritten law, dating 
from what era we know not, has ordained. 

Let us take the BELVOIR first, a position it is well .entitled 
to, from the excellence and variety of its country, the excellence 
and uniformity of its hounds, its antiquity, and the grand style 
in which things have always been done within its precincts. 
The kennel books of the Belvoir hounds stretch back to 1756. 
Like all the historic packs the stag was their earliest chase. 
The foxhounds were established in the days of the third Duke 
of Rutland who died in 1779, at the patriarchal age of eighty- 
three. The Marquis of Granby, whose jolly face and big bald 
head once English inns knew well, and the Frenchmen also, 
much to their disgust, on the day of Warburg, 1 seems to have 
been the first master. The fourth Duke died when his son 
\vas but a lad of nine, and during his minority the hounds, 
which were made up by his guardian and uncle, Henry, fifth 
Duke of Beaufort, from the Badminton kennels, were managed 
by a committee under the direction of Sir Carnaby Haggerston. 
In 1831 Lord Forester held the reins, and kept hold of them 
till the present duke came to the title in i857. 2 There are no 
such beautiful hounds, men say, in England, certainly none of 
such pure and direct pedigree. ' Their beautiful uniformity 
of colouring, their high class, and their wonderful evenness in^ 
appearance are quite unapproached elsewhere. It might be 
thought that these qualities could not have been brought to such 
a pitch of excellence without sacrifice of other more practical 
attributes, did we not know that nearly a century and a half 
has been reaching this standard, and that each year as many 
as fifty couple of puppies (occasionally even more) are sent 
out to walk. With such a choice of new material there can be 

1 See Carlyle's Frederick the Great, book xx. ch. ii. 
z Cecil's Records of the Chase, ch. ii. 


little difficulty in filling up the gaps, or even to maintain a 
standard so unyielding. It puzzles an outsider to imagine how 
the kennel men ever learn their hounds by name so extra- 
ordinarily similar are they in marking and contour. Every 
hound has the black " saddle-mark " on his back ; every 
hound has his " Belvoir tan " head ; while the groundwork of 
each skin is purest white. ' These beautiful markings, which 
are the peculiar type of this pack, are said to have been derived 
from a breed of Lord Monson's which was very famous in 
Lincolnshire about the close of last century. Much of the old 
Quorn strain of Mr. Meynell's is also in the pack, for in 1780 
when Mr. Heron hunted the Cheshire country he bred largely 
from that blood, and when he left the field his hounds went to 
the Belvoir kennels. Twenty-four inches was the standard, till 
the year 1842, when it was lowered an inch by Will Goodall, 
who then took the horn from the hands of the veteran Goosey 
who had carried it for six-and-twenty seasons. 

The most central point of the hunt is Grantham, a trim 
little town of some" 5,000 inhabitants, 105 miles from London, 
two hours and a half journey by the Great Northern line from 
King's Cross. Six miles off stands Belvoir Castle and the 
kennels, and all the best meets are within a radius of some 
dozen miles. 'No country,' says 'Brooksby,' 'presents a 
greater variety in itself than the Belvoir. Within its confines 
you may ride over small grass meadows, broad grazing grounds, 
light heath, and heavy plough.' The most fashionable district 
lies, of course, on the Leicestershire side. On Wednesdays and 
on alternate Saturdays the meets lie Meltonwards. Croxton 
Park, the famous battle-ground of amateur jockeys, lies just 
midway between Grantham and Melton. Stonesby Gorse, 
Newman's Gorse, Freeby Wood, and Brentingby Spinneys, 
are the great coverts in these parts ; but it is, and has been for 
long, a rule that the fixtures of these hounds never presuppose 
the drawing of any special cover. It was from Freeby Wood 

1 The Hunting Countries of England, by ' Brooksby : ' a most useful work, to 
which we have been largely indebted for this and the following chapter. 


that Dick Christian pounded a famous crowd of some two 
hundred 'each determined to ride, each resolved to be first' 
on Sir James Musgrave's Red Rose in a 'crasher over the 
Lings to Croxton Park wall in sixteen minutes.' 'I was head 
man all the way,' he told ' The Druid ' with pardonable pride ; 
'Sir James was on his old grey Baronet; Lord Gardner, 
Mr. Maxse, and Sir Harry (Goodricke) he was on Limner 
were the only ones near me. Sir Harry shouts to me to 
open a gate, and I jumps it and then turns round and laughs ; 
"Hang you," he shouts, "that's the way you open gates, is it?" 
It was a good five miles' regular coursing, severe jumping.' 
Stonesby and Piper Hole are also noted meets, and from the 
latter, if you are in luck, you will get a gallop over the best 
part of the famed Belvoir Vale, which the veteran Dick used 
to think afforded a 'partickler pretty landscape,' but whose 
prettiness to ride over will depend much on the quality of your 
horse and your heart. Then there is Melton Spinney, only 
four miles from Melton, and Mr. Burbage's covert, which is 
nearer still, lying in a loop where the boundaries of the Belvoir, 
the Quorn, and the Cottesmore touch. Both these are in the 
Duke's county, and if a good fox goes away from either towards 
Melton, there will probably be wigs on the Green. From 
Coston Covert to Woodwell Head ; from Mr. Sherbrooke's 
Gorse to Holwell Mouth, to Dalby Wood, or over the Stygian 
Smite to the Curate, are the lines 'Brooksby' specifies as 
affording the cream of a Belvoir gallop, short and sharp, for so 
great is ihe crowd and so lawless the riding on those days, that 
the first burst is as often as not the last. Dick Christian de- 
scribes the heroes of his early prime as 'all riding like devils 
against each other ' across the vale. The late Mr. Bromley- 
Davenport, in his volume called 'Sport,' reports a significant 
conversation which once passed within his hearing. Sir Richard 
Sutton, who was then hunting the Quorn country, at one of 
his meets called aside a gentleman who was supposed to regard 
his own position in the run as the capital feature in the day's 
sport, and, pointing at one particular hound, said, 'Please 


kindly take notice of that hound. He is the most valuable 
animal in the pack, and I would not have him ridden over for 
anything.' The gentleman courteously, and very candidly, 
replied, ' I would do anything to oblige you, Sir Richard ; 
but I have a shocking bad memory for hounds, and / am 
afraid he will have to take his chance with the rest!' Whether 
such shamelessness would be confessed to-day we cannot 
decide, but it is not impossible it might be practised. 1 

In the less fashionable quarters of this fine country there is 
quite as good fun, and still better sport. There is plenty of 
grass to gallop over and plenty of fences to jump, of all sorts 
and sizes ; the fields are more amenable to discipline ; the foxes 
are said to be stouter ; while the hounds remain the same ! On 
the south, along the Cottesmore boundary between Grantham 
and Folkingham is some good grass country and well fenced, 
with plenty of timber, but no water to speak of. Northwards 
from Folkingham, past Aswarby, the ploughs are more frequent ; 
but they carry a good scent in wet weather, and foxes are many 
and stout. Tending still north, beyond Sleaford, from Ranceby 
on to Leadenham, the land is lighter, being of a heathy com- 
plexion, and fenced mostly with stone walls, over which 
the hounds get very much the better of the horses. West 
of Leadenham, which is one of the boundaries between the 
Belvoir and the Blankney, lies another fine stretch of grass, 
and then, turning south towards Belvoir, comes some very deep 
plough with some very stiff fences, perhaps about the hardest 
part to cross of all the Duke's country when the scent is good. 
Horses of all sorts, then, are wanted to ride up to the Belvoir 
hounds : timber jumpers, water jumpers, fast ones, stout ones, 
blood and bone ; and, above all, a good head and a good heart 
for the rider. 

The glory of the QUORN dates from 1753, when the im- 
mortal Meynell began his mastership of forty-seven years. 

1 This hound belonged to the Badminton kennel This gentleman, in the 
following monih of May, went there for Bath Races. In spite of his reply, he 
took so much notice of the hound that in the kennel he picked it out of forty 
couple. EDITOR. 


The hounds then were kept at Great Bowden Inn, which is on 
the borders of Northamptonshire ; the master, or masters for 
Mr. Boothby bore half the burden of the expenses living at 
Langton Hall. A little later Mr. Meynell removed to Quorn- 
don Hall, where the kennels now are, and thence the pack took 
its famous name. In those days there were no woodlands 
within the limits of the country, and so Meynell used to stoop 
his hounds to hare in the spring, so as to get them handy when 
the real business began. This did not, as may be imagined, 
result in universal steadiness. ' The Druid ' tells a story of a 
brilliant burst of twenty minutes after a hare ending with a 
kill in the turnpike road : ' Ah ! ' observed the philosophical 
master, ' there are days when they will hunt anything.' Lord 
Sefton followed Meynell, and did things in an imperial manner, 
with two packs and two huntsmen, and everything ' in con- 
catenation accordingly.' His lordship was the first to introduce 
the custom of second horses. He was a very heavy man, and 
stopped for nothing, so that no horse could live under him for 
more than ten minutes if hounds ran hard. But he had a 
grand stud, nearly all thoroughbred and as large as dray- 
horses ; and with three or even four out at a time, he managed 
to hold his own with the light-weights. 1 Then arose the star of 
Melton, which still shines, if not with quite such supreme lustre. 
From 1805 to 1807 Lord Foley was king, and then came the 
great Assheton Smith, who ruled for ten years, and was suc- 
ceeded by the universal Osbaldeston. In 1821 Osbaldeston 
went into Hampshire, changing quarters with Sir Bellingham 
Graham ; but the change did not last long, and in 1823 'the 
Squire ' was back at Quorndon, Sir Bellingham going into the 
Albrighton country. Both Assheton Smith and Osbaldeston 
hunted their own hounds, and in that capacity Dick Christian, 
who, thanks to ' The Druid,' is our main authority for those 
golden days, did not think very nobly of either of thtm. The 
former drew his coverts too quickly, and so ' drew over his fox 
scores of times.' Also, ' he was very uncertain : sometimes he 
would not lift his hounds at all,' and, adds the veteran, 'you 

1 The Post and Paddock, ch. xiii. ; Records of the Chase, ch. vi. 


must liff, and lose no time if you want runs in Leicestershire with 
those big fields? One quality, however, he had, sure to have 
been appreciated by those big eager fields ; ' he was always 
for being away as quick as possible.' It was his maxim that 
the best fox always broke first ; and after the first that broke 
off he would go, often with only three or four couples of 
hounds. This, no doubt, entailed a tremendous burst, but at 
the first check as often as not the run was spoiled. 'The 
Squire 'seems to have been still more 'uncertain.' 'He was 
the oddest man you ever saw at a covert-side. He would talk 
for an hour : then he would half draw, and talk again, and 
often blow his horn when there was no manner of occasion 
always so chaffy.' But he is allowed to have been ' very keen 
of the sport,' and to have got away with his fox ' like a shot ; ' 
while, for sheer riding, of his great rival Dick vowed ' no man 
that ever came into Leicestershire could beat Mr. Smith ; I 
don't care what any of them says.' 

Lord Southampton followed ' the Squire.' He bought the 
Oakley pack in 1829, which was then in high repute, built new 
kennels at Leicester, and the hounds were called after his name 
instead of by their own title. To him succeeded Sir Harry 
Goodricke, and the hounds took his name, which indeed was 
but fair, seeing that he paid all expenses out of his o\vn pocket. 
He too built new kennels at Thrussington, midway between 
Melton and Leicester, and a much more convenient place than 
the latter. His early death in 1833 ^ tne hounds to Mr. 
Francis Holyoake, who subsequently took the name of Good- 
ricke. In his time a part of the Quorn country was handed over 
to the second Marquis of Hastings, who had started a pack to 
hunt the Donnington country, pretty much that now hunted by 
Lord Ferrers. Two seasons were enough for Mr. Holyoake, and 
three for Mr. Errington. His next successor, Lord Suffield, who 
followed, spent a great deal of money, building new kennels 
and stabling at Billesdon, and giving Mr. Lambton 3,000 
guineas for his hounds. But the sport, for some cause or 
another, was not equal to the cost, and after one season he 
gave place to Mr. Hodgson of Holderness fame, who brought 


his hounds with him from Yorkshire. It was in his reign that 
Assheton Smith, then in his sixty-fifth year, brought his hounds 
from Tedworth for a fortnight into Leicestershire. The opening 
day was at Rollestone, when it is calculated upwards of 2,000 
people were present, but there was, perhaps of course, no sport. 
After Mr. Hodgson came Mr. Greene, of Rollestone, a fine 
sportsman, who figures in the great ' Quarterly ' run as skimming 
over the Whissendine on his bay mare, ' like a swallow on a 
summer's evening.' In 1847 he retired in favour of Sir Richard 
Button, who had won a great name in the Burton and Cottes- 
more countries. In 1857 the latter took the Donnington 
country back, and then finding the whole rather too large to be 
properly hunted by one pack, he handed a part of it over to 
his son Mr. Richard Sutton, building him kennels at Skeffing- 
ton and furnishing him with hounds. No man ever showed 
better sport in Leicestershire than Sir Richard, and when he 
died at the beginning of the season of 1855, it was a bad day 
for the Quorn. Young Sir Richard and Captain Frank Sutton 
finished the season, and then Lord Stamford came to the front, 
with a pack composeo) largely of old hounds and a good draft 
from Mr. Anstruther Thomson's kennels. In this mastership 
Mr. Tailby took a part of the Quorn country together with a 
slice of the Cottesmore, and showed rare sport up to 1871, when 
the latter, according to agreement, reverted to its original lords, 
and Mr. Tailby continued for some seasons longer to content 
himself with two days a week in the diminished province now 
governed by Sir Bache Cunard. Aftei Lord Stamford, who kept 
the hounds for seven seasons, Mr. Clowes followed for three, 
and then the rather casual reign of the Marquis of Hastings, 
which lasted for two. Mr. Musters came next, with a good 
pack of hounds out of South Nottinghamshire. After three 
years he divided his country with Mr. Coupland, and after 
two more took his pack with him back to his own tents, and 
Mr. Coupland was left to his own resources. He was unlucky at 
first, having bought the Craven pack, which was too slow for 
Leicestershire. But the famous Tom Firr came to him in 1872 
from the North Warwickshire, and matters soon became mere 


lively. Mr. Coupland managed matters till the season of 
1884-5, when Lord Manners succeeded, and so we pass from 
the domain of history into the living present. 

Melton Mowbray is, of course, the cardinal point of this 
famous hunting ground, though not the central one. There 
hounds are comparatively close at hand every day in the week. 
It rarely happens that a ride of ten miles at most will not find 
them, and a ride to covert in Leicestershire has been declared 
by an enthusiast to be better than a run anywhere else in the 
world. From this little paradise, isled in a sea of grass, you get 
the Quorn on Mondays and Fridays ; on Tuesdays, the Cottes- 
more; on Wednesday, the Belvoir ; on Thursday comes either a 
by-day with the Quorn or one of Sir Bache Cunard's northern 
meets; on Saturday, the Belvoir and the Cottesmore are alter- 
nately at your door. To take all the goods thus lavishly 
provided a large stud is a necessity. True, as 'Brooksby' says, 
six thoroughly well-seasoned nags, with the inevitable cast-iron 
hack (who must both jump and gallop more than a bit) will 
carry you through the season if you have luck, and here and there 
a timely frost comes to help. Some men can certainly get more 
out of one horse than many can out of two. But even the 
cleverest and most saving rider must lose much of the fun if he 
makes Melton his head-quarters with only six hunters in his 
stable. The best sport in this country comes generally in the 
afternoon, when the coffee-housers have gone home, and hounds 
have a chance. But although you may have had no sport in 
the morning, there has almost certainly been enough work, 
what with trotting or galloping from one covert to another, a 
short scurry here and another there, to take the morning steel out 
of your horse. Then what are you to do ? go home with the 
crowd, or stay and play second fiddle to your happier fellows 
on their fresh horses ; or come to inevitable grief in a brave 
attempt to show them the way on your tired one ? As to not 
hunting every day from Melton, that never entered into any 
human head. So, though undoubtedly Melton was made for 
man to hunt from, it is not every man (nor horse either) was 


made to hunt from Melton. Non cuivis but the proverb 
is something musty. 

Plenty of sport is to be got both from Leicester and Lough- 
borough, and under more moderate conditions. The latter, 
only three miles from the kennels, is the most central point in 
the Quorn country proper, while the former is just on the 
border line between that and Sir B. Cunard's, and is handy too 
for an occasional day with the Atherstone. Some five-and- 
twenty years ago Leicester was a famous quarter for hunting 
men, who used to gather in numbers at the Old Bell Inn. But 
then it was a cleanly quiet little market town; now it is a great 
manufacturing town, not very quiet, and not at all cleanly. 
Loughborough is about three hours from St. Pancras; Leicester, 
about two and a quarter ; Melton, about three and a half : too 
far all of them to be reached from London on the morning of 
hunting, unless you are prepared to leave your bed not much 
after four o'clock ! 

But the pick of the Quorn country is certainly to be got 
from Melton. Shoby Scholes and Lord Aylesford's are the 
great coverts near by : the first a close-grown dell, the latter a 
covert of gorse and broom of some twenty or thirty acres; ' rare 
things ' had Dick Christian seen from here over to Oakham in 
the Cottesmore country or to Belvoir. Wartnaby Stone-pits 
is another famous place, only four miles from head-quarters. 
There were fearful fences hereabouts in the old days : spiked 
gates, mortised rails, and all manner of devilries. The owner 
used to say, ' There never were but two men fit to come out 
hunting Lord Alvanley, who walked 18 stone, and Quarley 
Wilson they were the only men that ever rode straight across 
my farm.' Farther on is Cossington Gorse, from which if the 
fox breaks across the old Roman road between Leicester and 
Newark, over the Hoby and Thrussingcon lordships, to Shoby 
Scholes, you will get such a gallop over such a country as you 
will find nowhere else, men say, even in the Shires. When the 
Quorn meet at Six Hills, about six miles from Melton, you get 
the pick of all the best coverts : those aforesaid, Thrussington 




Gorse and Wolds, Walton Thorns (rich in the memories of 
historic gallops), Cossington Gorse, and Mr. Craddock's Spinney. 
Northwards still towards Widmerpool you come on the plough, 
fairly light but with blind fences. But from the Curate's Gorse,' 
or from the neighbouring Parson's Thorns you may get into the 

' A gallop over Twyford 
Vale. 1 

Belvoir Vaie at its very finest part. It was in this neighbour- 
hood, from Widmerpool right across the Vale to Blackberry 
Hill, that Assheton Smith placed the best run he had ever had 
in Leicestershire. Whether it was the Parson or the Curate who 
once said in Dick Christian's hearing that he used to fairly 
tremble before a vale fence to think how he could get over it, 


that old chronicler did not specify. Holwell Mouth, Saxelby 
Spinney, and Grimston Gorse are all shared with the Belvoir, 
and a grand grass country lies all aiound them. 

South of Melton, across the Wreake, historic names lie 
thick : Kirby Gate and Great Dalby mean a fox at Gartree Hill, 
leagues of grass with 'oxers' thick as leaves in Vallambrosa, and 
the immemorial Whissendine. It was in this covert dwelt the 
legendary fox of ' the Squire's ' time, that always broke at the 
same point and went over the same line, ten miles of it through 
Leesthorpe, past Cold Overton to Oakham Pastures, where he 
invariably disappeared in some miraculous way, undiscoverable 
by hounds or men. From Adam's Gorse you may get a gallop 
over the Melton Steeplechase Course; from Thorpe Trussels, 
Ashby Pastures, and Cream Gorse, you may go straight to heaven 
or that earthly parallel in a Quornite's eyes, found in a gallop 
over the Twyford Vale. Barkby Holt and Ashby Pastures are 
other names to conjure by. Here, in old Dick's time, grew the 
stoutest bullfinches, the regular 'stitchers,' at which 'we used to 
go slap-bang, holloaing like fun to cheer up horses and men.' 
Hereabouts, too, are Rearsby and Gaddesby : Lowesby Hall, 
made famous by poor Bromley- Davenport in one of the best 
parodies ever written ; Baggrave and John O'Gaunt ; Scraptoft, 
and most traditional of all, Billesdon, with its immortal Coplow, 
which is really within Sir B. Cunard's border. The historical 
Billesdon Coplow run was in Mr. Meynell's last year of master- 
ship, on February 24, 1800, on a bitter cold day with the wind 
blowing from the north-east. The distance is said to have been 
twenty-eight miles, and the estimate of the time occupied in 
covering it is fabulously short. After crossing the Soar, the 
hounds changed their fox and carried the new one on to 
Enderby Gorse, where they lost him. The only man who 
crossed the stream on horseback was Mr. Germaine. A famous 
picture was painted of the run at this point by Mr. Loraine 
Smith, and, according to him, the only men who got so far 
were himself, Mr. Germaine, 'Jack' Musters (Byron's rival 
in love and Assheton Smith's in sport), Lord Maynard, his 


groom, and Jack Raven, the huntsman. There was another 
great run from here in ' the Squire's ' time, ten miles to Ranks- 
boro', of which only ' the Squire,' on his famous little Assheton, 
and Mr. Greene, on his even more famous bay mare, saw the 
end. Along the western boundary from Kirby Muxloe north- 
wards to Lord Ferrers' and the Nottinghamshire districts the 
county changes ; woods grow larger and ploughs mostly take 
the place of grass. Still, foxes are as plentiful as ploughs ; and 
as the hard-riding dandies do not patronise these uncivilised 
parts, the hunting is good enough, whatever the riding may be. 
If your fox slips from Charmvood Forest, as the wild hilly 
country from Bradgate to Gracedieu is called, over the Ather- 
stone border, there will be plenty of riding. 

The country now hunted by Sir Bache Cunard's hounds is 
that once known as Mr. Tailby's. As we have said, it was first 
made a separate country in Sir Richard Sutton's time, and was 
once larger by the piece a few years ago reclaimed by the 
Cottesmore. It has also been known as the Billesdon Hunt, from 
the fact of the hounds having been originally kept at Billesdon, 
a fact commemorated by the initials 'B. H.' still worn on their 
coat-buttons by members of the hunt. In the old days, before 
Mr. Tailby's area became so sadly circumscribed, when Jack 
Goddard, and then Frank Goodall, held the horn, there was no 
such sport shown anywhere in the Shires, Leicester and Market 
Harboro' command the country, but if you intend to limit 
yourself entirely to these hounds, and they will give you sport 
enough unless you insist on hunting every day in the week, 
either Kibworth or Billesdon is more central. Five days a 
fortnight is the fare provided Mondays, Thursdays, and alter- 
nate Saturdays, when the Cottesmore are away on the eastern 
side of their kingdom. Gumley, Mowsley, Shemsby, Brunting- 
thorpe, Kilby and Wistow are the pick of the Monday meets 
in the southern district. Most of the coverts are small, and 
there is more plough than in the northern half; but there are 
several fine galloping bits, from John Ball, for instance, or 
Walton Holt westward to the Atherstone country. All these 


places are on the Market Harboro' side. Leicester way, 
Thurnby Spinney, Glen Gorse, Norton Gorse, Noseley, and 
Sheepshorns, are all famous places for good foxes, and almost 
certain to grant a run over a glorious country. The Saturdays 
are generally spent in dusting the woodlands on the Cottesmore 
boundary, from which runs may come, and if they do they will 
probably be over a very stiff country. 

'For the truest sport, the straightest foxes, for perfection 
of country, for long runs and fast runs, commend us,' says 
'Brooksby,' 'to the wild pastures of the COTTESMORE.' This 
establishment seems to have owed its origin to Sir William 
Lowther, first Earl of Lonsdale, who kept a pack of harriers at 
Uffington in the last quarter of last century, which about 1790 
he turned into foxhounds. When his hounds were sold, their 
pedigree went back 130 years, which would presumably carry it 
into the seventeenth century. According to Dick Christian, 
who was born at Cottesmore, a Mr. Noel, of Exton, was the 
oldest accorded master of this country. He kept the hounds 
at Cottesmore, and his huntsman was Arthur Abbey, 'a big 
heavy man, with a rasping strong voice.' He was with Sir 
Gilbert Heathcote afterwards, and is famous, if for nothing 
else, for his saying to a parson who had just subsided into a 
muddy ditch : 'You can lie where you are, sir : you won't be 
wanted till next Sunday,' a happy thought subsequently ap- 
propriated, as everyone remembers, by John Leech. Lord 
Gainsborough took the hounds after Mr. Noel's death, and 
after his own they passed to Sir William Lowther. Sir Gilbert 
Heathcote's mastership seems to have lasted about ten years, 
from 1799 to 1809, during which time Dick Christian was with 
him as whip and occasional huntsman, and general breaker 
and trainer of young horses. Then the hounds went back to 
Sir William, who had blossomed into the Earl of Lonsdale, and 
in that family they stayed some time. Indeed the Lowthers 
have always been more or less connected with these hounds. 
When Mr. Tailby took the lower p^rt of the Quorn country in 
1856-7, he was also given, as has been said, a slice of the 


Cottesmore, on the particular understanding that if ever a 
Lowther took to the latter hounds again, it should revert to its 
ancient use. And this actually did happen in the season of 
1871-2. In the early years of the century the Cottesmore 
country was very wild, rough, and deep ; even now it is much 
the wildest, the most in a state of nature, of the Shires. This 
made the hounds particularly good hunters, and though not 
so quick in the open as the Quorn, they were always held to 
be the best on a line. The historians of the chase are less 
voluminous on the Cottesmore hunt than on many others. 
With the exception of Dick Christian's reminiscences, and the 
fact that Sir Richard Sutton was master for a short but brilliant 
reign before taking the Quorn, there are few facts to be gathered 
from history. Dick tells us of a tremendous run in Sir Gilbert's 
reign, known as 'The Prince of Wales's day,' afterwards George 
the Fourth. His Royal Highness was staying at Normanton ; 
' he was nowhere, bless you ; they gave him the brush, though, 
just to please him.' The Prince must have had plenty to keep 
him company, for it was, by the veteran's account, a desperate 
affair. ' We found at Armley Wood, then through Empingham, 
Cottesmore Wood, straight through Exton Park, across the 
North Road by Horn Lane toll-bar, through Ardwick Wood, 
where the balloon from Nottingham fell, The Lings, Fowthorpe 
Oaks, Stamford Field-side, Royal Belthorpe, Rasen Gretford ; 
then we came to Langtoft and Deeping let me see and 
Tallerton, and then by Uppington Wood, and killed at Essen- 
dine Park that's it. Six horses died in the field ; these they laid 
heels up'ards. Lord Charles Manners and Sir Gilbert were up 
first. There must have been twenty-two miles or more. The run 
would have made sixteen or seventeen of it. The late Lord 
Lonsdale was out, and Lindow, and Germaine, and Vanneck. I 
would be about twenty-eight then, and somewhere about ten 
stone.' Oakham and Stamford are the head-quarters most 
commonly patronised, and the former the most. A quiet market 
town it is, about three hours' journey from London, with plenty 
of good accommodation for man and beast. From here you get 


not only all the pick of the native meets, but the Quorn, the 
Belvoir, and Sir B. Cunard's are also accessible. Westward 
and southward from Oakham to the Quorn boundaries is the 
best of the Cottesmore country : fine grass fields carrying a 
good scent in almost all weathers, plenty of foxes, and fences 
'tremendious,' as Dick Christian would have said, and did 
say, over which, on a memorable day, he pounded the late 
Lord Cardigan on his famous Dandy. There are some stiff 
hills about Tilton and Launde, which are not much admired 
when they present themselves in the middle of a quick burst, 
however much they contribute at other times to the pic- 
turesqueness of the scenery. Leesthorpe and Langham are 
the favourite meets hereabouts. From the first you get the 
Punchbowl, from the second Ranksboro Gorse, names surely 
familiar to every man, woman, or child that has ever heard of 
a fox, a hound, or a horse. Close to Melton are Wyld's Lodge 
and Stapleford Park. Just outside the latter is a noted draw, 
Laxton's covert, below which runs a well-known stream, com- 
monly but wrongly assimilated with the Whissendine. If you 
run from Laxton's to Ranksboro, however, you are pretty sure 
to cross the latter, and not absolutely certain not to get into it. 
A great feature of the Cottesmore country is its woods ; not 
the regular woodlands that lie on the eastern side beyond 
Stamford, but the smaller ones hereabouts the Great and 
Little woods of Owston, the woods of Launde and Launde 
Park, of Tilton, and Wardley, and Witham, and Orton Park. 
A woodland draw has its drawbacks, of course (we protest 
against any intention of a pun) ; but these are such splendid 
nurseries of foxes that no good sportsman would wish to see 
them diminished by so much as a tree. Besides, when you do 
get well away from them, you can hardly go wrong, and no fox 
ever runs so staunchly and straightly as a woodland-bred one. 

On the eastern side of the hunt, from Stamford northwards 
past Bowne to Grimsthorpe Park, which is almost on the 
borders of the Belvoir, runs a great range of woodlands. Full 
of foxes they are, but not otherwise attractive. The country 

2 3 2 HUNTING. 

hereabouts is mostly heavy plough, and intersected by wide and 
deep drains. A stout, short-legged horse is wanted here, not 
fast, but a good jumper. For the rest, a nag that will carry 
you well to the Quorn will not disgrace you with the Cottes- 
more. But he must be a strong as well as a well-bred one, for 
the pastures are heavier here than the Melton grass, and the 
country generally much wilder and less bothered by scientific 
agriculturists. The stiffest part of it all is the Skeffington 
lordship, which you will probably cross (if you and your horse 
can) from Launde or Tilton Woods. The ' oxers ' hereabouts 
are terrific ; the hills are steep ; and in most of the valleys are 
diabolical freaks of nature known as 'bottoms, 'almost amount- 
ing to ravines, some of which no horse yet foaled could be put 
at with any chance of getting over, even with a fall. ' A wide- 
spread region, scarcely inhabited ; ground that carries a scent 
in all weathers ; woodlands which breed a travelling race ; and 
mile upon mile of untracked grass, where a fox will meet 
nothing more terrifying than a bullock.' So ' Brooksby ' sum- 
marises this glorious country, and those who have known the 
pleasures of a gallop from Ranksboro Gorse to Laxton's 
Covert, from Owston Wood to John o' Gaunt, or from Witham 
Common over the Vale of Catmose, will probably agree with 
him that there is no sport in England like that shown by the 
Cottesmore bitches. 

No pack of hounds in England, not even its great rival the 
Quorn, has so memorable a history as the PYTCHLEY. It has 
even, as one may say, a political history of its own, having, 
as no one will ever forget, been the cause of Homeric laughter 
in the House of Commons, on an occasion which no biographer 
of Mr. John Bright must ever pretend to pass by. The name 
comes from an ancient Elizabethan house, built by a certain 
Sir Eustace Isham about 1570, and pulled down by the late 
George Payne. The lords of the manor, ' Cecil ' l tells us, held 
it of the Crown on condition of their keeping dogs to destroy 
wolves, foxes, polecats, and such like creatures. But that ex- 
1 Records of the Chase, ch. vii. 


cellent sportsman and pleasant writer, the late Charles Clarke, 
has traced the name yet farther into ' the dark backward of 
time.' 1 He has traced it back to one William of Pightesley, 
who, in Henry the Third's reign, succeeded to the Pstah of 
one Alwyne the Hunter by a tenure binding him to chase 
'wolves, foxes, and other vermin.' The 'Pytchley Hunt' of 
those days seems to have been somewhat oddly composed. 
There were ' sixteen dogs ' for hunting fallow deer, and the 
staff consisted of a royal huntsman, ' two horses and three men.' 
Their appearance could not well have been splendid, at least 
from a sumptuary point of view. The prince and great nobles 
of that day went, by all accounts, very gorgeously clad, but 
their retainers apparently something less so. The leader of 
Henry the Third's greyhounds, for instance, was allowed only 
fourpence for his boots and shoes ; ' the winter shoes of the 
whole establishment of Edward de Blatherwycke (a better name 
for a member of Parliament than for a sportsman), foxhunter 
to Edward the First, cost only seven shillings.' Shillings and 
pennies meant then a great deal more than they do now ; still, 
even on the most liberal computation, the expenditure could 
hardly have been reckless. As the Cottesmore is associated 
with the Lowther family, so the family of Spencer has long been 
connected with the fortunes of the Pytchley. Lord Althorp 
hunted the country for many years before his death in 1746, 
though when his hounds became foxhounds purely is not 
known. From that year till 1794, the Spencers ruled over the 
Pytchley, hunting alternately what were then known as the 
Althorp and Pytchley countries. Nearly ail the gentlemen of 
Northamptonshire hunted then, and when the hounds were at 
Althorp, all the squires in the neighbourhood kept open house : 
when the time for Pytchley came, they shut up their houses 
and with their families followed the hounds to the latter place. 
The Pytchley Club was as famous then as the Old Club at 
Melton became afterwards, and among its best known members 
was Assheton Smith's father. Dick Knight was the huntsman, 

1 See Crumbs from a Sportsman's Table, vol. ii. ch. xiii. 


renowned in song and story, and the sport was glorious. In 
the famous library at Althorp there are some interesting manu- 
script records of the history of the hunt, from which Mr. Clarke 
was allowed to make extracts. They date from the year 1773, 
when John, Earl Spencer, kept the hounds, and also a most 
minute diary of the sport. On October 23 of that year there 
seems to have been a red-letter day thus recorded : 

Out: Lord Spencer, Lord Jersey, Lord Robert Spencer, 
Mr. Bouvcrie, Mr. Knightley, Mr. Hanbury, Mr. Percival, Colonel 
Burgoyne, c. Threw off with the old hounds at Bagbrooke Hills. 
Found quite at the extremity of the cover. The fox took a circle 
round the hill and over the open field to the Dirt House Cover, 
through which he ran. He then made for the thorns on the edge 
of the turnpike road, back over the other side of the same open 
field, in view of the company up the hill, into the cover, where he 
was first found, and where, after some little check, a hound was 
seizing him, but was whipped off by Dick Knight, and he got to 
ground. A fresh fox then jumped up, went into the inclosure, 
crossed the brook, through the thorns before mentioned, over the 
high road, bearing down the ground to the left. He then passed 
over the same brook to Lichborough Springs, by the edge of Grub's 
Copse, without daring to go into it. Keeping on in a line for Tow- 
cester, till he came within two miles of it, when he returned to the 
right, and within the distance of two or three grounds was killed 
in a turnip field. This was a very pleasing chase, having a great 
deal of steady running and excellent hunting; but the strong inclo- 
sures at the first starting off prevented part of the company from 
seeing the whole of it. An old fox. 

This Dick Knight, who seems generally to have been 
spoken of as ' Mr.' Knight, is not to be confounded with his 
namesake of a later day, the one mentioned above. The real, 
the historic ' Dick,' was a great character in hunting tradition. 
He seems to have been famous rather as a rider than a hunts- 
man ; at least his virtues must have mostly lain the former way. 
'The Druid' thus describes him : ' 

He was a fine horseman, and was magnificently mounted, but 
he had no practice. He thought he knew better than the hounds, 

1 The Post and the Paddock, ch. xiv. 


and was too fond of lifting them. . . . He had neither patience nor 
perseverance, and was always for finding a fresh fox. Having 
plenty of horses, he would gallop off miles distant. Half the field 
thought the hounds were running, and did not discover their mis- 
take till they got to a fresh covert with their horses half done. 
Such we believe to have been the mode adopted by the renowned 
Dick Knight. 

Then, after one season under a Mr. Buller, the hounds 
passed to the great John Warde. He brought the two countries 
into one, and moved the kennels to Boughton. Large hounds 
were his passion, 'great calves,' as the Quorn men called 
them ; but large as they were they could chase as well as 
hunt, and their steadiness was a byword through the length 
and breadth of hunting England. When ' Glorious John ' 
left Northamptonshire for the New Forest (a change, indeed !), 
the old family came to the front again in the person of Lord 
Althorp, who bought the hounds from his predecessor for 
1,000 guineas, a pretty good proof of the value of the ' great 
calves.' Pytchley once more became the head-quarters, and 
the golden years returned. According to ' Cecil,' in which he 
differs from ' The Druid,' who, however, is vague in the matter 
of dates, and apt sometimes to contradict himself, Charles 
King was then the huntsman, a better one than Knight and 
quite as good a rider. He is said to have offered to ride, 
dance, play the fiddle, and hunt a pack of hounds, against any 
man in the midland counties, and, like the first Lord Spencer, 
he was very particular in keeping a diary. The Club was then 
in its prime, with Frank Forester, the giant Dick Gurney, Hugo 
Meynell, Sir Charles Knightley, Sir David Baird, George Payne 
(father of the late George), the brothers Allix, Sir Thomas 
Salisbury, and Frederick Ponsonby among its shining lights, 
with an occasional flash from Melton in the shape of Lord 
Alvanley. This great time lasted till 1820, and then, after a 
series of short reigns, including Sir Bellingham Graham's and 
Mr. Musters', came 'the Squire's' mastership from 1827 till 
1834, which almost rivalled the great days of Lord Althorp's. 


Mr. George Payne, Lord Chesterfield (whose reign was as 
magnificent as Lord Sefton's in Leicestershire), Mr. Tom (not 
Assheton) Smith followed, and then Mr. Payne again. It is in 
Mr. Payne's second mastership that we first find connected with 
these hounds a name which has since become a household 
word in the Pytchley hunt the name of Charles Payne. He 
came from the Oakley, having graduated under that fine hunts- 
man, George Beers, and at first his duties were confined to the 
kennels. It was in Lord Hopetoun's time, in 1852, that Payne 
was first entrusted with the horn, and never at any time, or in 
any country, did huntsman carry it to more effect. In his 
earliest days he was noted as ' a quick, intelligent, well-behaved 
servant, and a marvellous fellow to get over a country,' and 
these qualities he preserved undiminished to the end of his 
active career. From. 1852 till when he went into Wales to Sir 
Watkin Wynn, he was at the head of affairs, through the 
masterships of Lord Hopetoun, Mr. Villiers, Lord Spencer, 
and Mr. Anstruther Thomson. No quicker or keener hunts- 
man ever cheered a hound ; no better rider ever threw his leg 
over a saddle ; no more civil or intelligent servant ever wore 
scarlet. In 1862, the present Lord Spencer came into office 
and stayed there for three, seasons, and then followed Mr. 
Anstruther Thomson, whose reign will be for ever memorable 
for the great run from Waterloo Gorse. In 1873, when Mr. 
Naylor was at the head of affairs, a second pack was set on 
foot to hunt the Rockingham woodlands. In 1874, Lord 
Spencer took the hounds again and kept them for five seasons, 
when he retired in favour of Mr. Langham, but for a short 
while longer kept the woodland country in his hands, hunting 
it two days a week with Brigstock for his head-quarters. 

There are six commanding points of departure for the 
Pytchley country Rugby, Market Harboro', Weedon, Daven- 
try, Lutterworth, and Northampton. Of these, Northampton 
is the most central for the country, Market Harboro' the 
tnost famous by name, and Rugby, perhaps, the most handy 
for all sorts of good hounds and countries of all hunting 


centres in England. All three, as well as Weedon, are within 
a couple of hours' journey from London, and can be reached 
by a 7.30 train in time for an eleven o'clock meet. 

Rugby, indeed, offers a most unlimited choice of delights. 
Besides the Pytchley, the Quorn, Sir Bache Cunard's, the 
Atherstone, both the Warwickshire packs and the Oakley are 
all tolerably handy on various days throughout the week. A 
gallop with Sir Nathaniel over the Aylesbury Vale can also be 
encompassed with no extreme labour. There is a capital hotel 
and a club, any amount of stabling, and plenty of pleasant 
company. It would be hard to find a better place anywhere for 
the man obliged to make London his head-quarters, and yet able 
to spare a day or two together for his hunting. Almost the only 
objection to Rugby is its distance from all the kennels of the 
packs it commands. The meets consequently can often be 
reached only by rail ; but, on the other hand, of lines of rail- 
way there is no lack at Rugby. 

To the dwellers at Market Harboro', Sir Bache Cunard's 
and the Cottesmore are the only packs of convenient resort 
besides their native Pytchley. It has this advantage over 
Rugby, that the morning train leaves London half an hour 
later. By the souls given to festivity, Market Harboro' may 
probably be thought a little dull, though Mr. Sawyer did not 
seem to find it so. But to him who regards hunting as a serious 
business, not to be mingled with social frivolities, it is a notable 
place. Like Rugby, it is far from any kennel, but not so far. 

Northampton commands all the southern district of the 
Pytchley, and the best also of the Oakley, and the Duke of 
Grafton's. Weedon is much in the same category, with the 
Bicester and Warwickshire to boot. Lutterworth and Daventry 
are quiet little places, rather off the line of railways, but per- 
haps no worse for that. The former is on the extreme west of 
the country, in a little nook handy for the Atherstone and Sir 
B. Cunard's. Daventry is on the extreme south, close to the 
borders of the two Warwickshire packs, the Duke of Grafton's 
and the northern meets of the Bicester. 


The favourite part of this fine and large country is that 
known as the Wednesday or Rugby district. The most notable 
meets hereabouts are Lilbourne Village, Stamford Hall, Kilworth 
Hall, Yelvertoft, Cold Ashby, and Crick, almost as historic a 
name as Billesdon. Its fame arose from a marvellous run into 
Oxfordshire after a fox found in a hedgerow. A covert was 
then made, the horses were prepared for it, says 'The Druid,' 
as if for the Derby. From Stamford to Misterton or the 
Hemplows ; from Cold Ashby to the latter hills ; from Lil- 
bourne to Crick or Stamford, are tremendous lines, ' fit for a 
king,' says ' Brooksby,' ' if that king be but well minded and 
well mounted.' They take you nearly all over grass, and over 
fences of various and most uncompromising sorts. On these 
Wednesdays the crowd is so huge, that a ' Pytchley Wednesday' 
has passed into a proverb. ' If,' says the eloquent ' Brooksby,' 
'you would learn to what colossal magnitude and manifold 
variety a hunting field can attain, go out on a Pytchley Wed- 
nesday to a favourite fixture ! If you would observe how 
such a field can cordially subject itself to proper discipline, 
stand at the covert side as one of them ! If, again, you would 
put your nerve and self-confidence to a thorough test, make 
yourself an atom in the Niagara-like rush to which the " gone 
away " is a signal ! If you would mark in its most perfect form 
the first essential for a foxhound in the Shires, watch the 
Pytchley bitches slipping to the front through the mad torrent.' 

On the Market Harboro' side, which is visited on Fridays 
and Saturdays alternately with the Weedon side, the fences are 
terrific. Jem Mason used to say and no one could speak 
with greater authority on such matters that no one could ride 
the line straight from Waterloo Gorse to Dingley, without three 
falls, no matter what his horse was. And an authority, who 
quotes the saying, adds that the ox fences round about Market 
Harboro' are simply impossible. ' You can't ride the country 
in its immediate neighbourhood straight,' he says. ' It is my 
belief,' he declares, with a frankness perhaps more bold than 
judicious, ' that these ox fences, more than all else, bar the way 



to Market Harboro's prosperity as a hunting centre. Bold men, 
perhaps, battle with them for a year or two : fathers of families 
shudder as they look at them, and decline further acquaintance 
at once.' Discretion is the truest valour at Harbortf. To the 
stiffness of the Pytchley country generally another witness 
speaks from the mouth of one who was not wont to turn his 
head away from a big fence. ' Large grass fields,' says Whyte- 
Melville, ' from fifty to a hundred acres in extent, carrying a 
rare scent, are indeed tempting ; but to my own taste, though 
perhaps in this my reader may not agree with me, they would 
be more inviting were they not separated by such forbidding 

'The Niagara-like rush to which the "gone-away " is a signal.' 

fences. A high black-thorn hedge, strong enough to hold an 
elephant, with one and sometimes two ditches, fortified, more- 
over, in many cases, by a rail placed half a horse's length off to 
keep out cattle from the thorns, offers, indeed, scope for all the 
nobler qualities of man and beast, but while sufficiently perilous 
for glory, seems to my mind rather too stiff for pleasure.' l ' Most 
of the country hereabouts is grass, and in the very centre of the 
most formidable tract stands the far-famed Waterloo Gorse. 
Blue Covert (supposed to have been planted by the 'Blues' 
when last quartered at Northampton), Talliho, Sulby Gorse, 

1 Riding Recollections, ch. xiv. 

?<jo HUNTING. 

Nasehy Covert, and Marston Wood, are all coverts of mark 

From Weedon you get grass nearly all round you, and in 
the Shuckburgh valley, over which a good fox will probably 
take you from Eraunston Gorse, some very big fences. Badby 
Wood is the most notable stronghold of foxes in these parts, 
and Ashby St. Ledgers, Nobottle Wood, Brampton Gorse, 
Harberton Heath, Whitton osier bed (with a nice little brook, 
though often found a nasty one, handy), Staverton Wood, and 
Buckby Folly, are all rich in the raw material. From Weedon, 
too, you may find yourself at Brixworth and try your chance at 
' Knightley's leap,' a fenced brook below Brixworth Hill, over 
which the late Sir Charles Knightley, on his famous Benvolio, 
once covered thirty-one feet of ground. The coverts on the 
extreme south, Stowe Wood, Everton Stubbs, &c., are shared 
with the Duke of Grafton. 

In the Northampton district there are big woodlands, and 
more plough than elsewhere. From Sywell Wood to Gib 
Wood is almost a continuous chain of coverts, practically mak- 
ing one vast wood. Herein foxes disport themselves abun- 
dantly, but they are not always to be persuaded to go away as 
good foxes should. Round Harrowden and Faxton are the 
best and most grassy parts of this district. Near Northampton 
the soil is lighter, and this is known as the worst scenting 
ground of the country. 

The Woodland country, now, as we have said, hunted by a 
separate pack, lies mainly between the river Welland on the 
west and the Nene on the east. The kennels are at Brigstock, 
a central point, and the places from which the best of the 
country can be reached are Kettering, Thrapston, Oundle, and 
Market Harboro', but the Nimrods at the last place naturally, 
save in the early autumn and late spring, prefer their own 
open pastures. The Duke of Buccleuch's woods, Brigstock 
Forest, the Bulwick Woods, the great coverts of Deene, 
Brampton atid Oundle Woods, Carlton Forest, and the Pipwell 
Wocds are the most conspicuous of these famous strongholds. 



For those who can appreciate the joys of this style of hunting, 
and that it has a peculiar charm of its own none who have 
ever tried it will gainsay, there are few better places to enjoy it 
in than the Pytchley Woodlands. There is an unfailing supply 
of foxes, even in the northernmost parts where game is strictly 
preserved ; the rides are everywhere passable to a stout-limbed 
nag, and, as is the wont of woodlands, the deep mysteries of scent 

' Luckily with a liberal supply of gates.' 

rarely trouble much hounds' noses or men's minds. A gallop 
in the open, too, is no unknown thing. Between the Duke of 
Buccleuch's woods and Brigstock is a fine piece of grass with 
some unconscionable fences, but luckily also with a liberal 
supply of gates. Between the woods round Rockingham and 
the Welland is again more grass ; while from Cranford Gorse 
and Finedon Poplars down to the Nene is an open tract of light 
plough and convenient fences. A man who wishes to enjoy 
not too violently the genuine sport could hardly do so better 
than here. And he need not spend too much money on 


horseflesh. ' You may,' observes the sagacious ' Brooksby,' ' if 
you like, keep a good horse for Dingley, Rushton, &c., on the 
chance of a dive into the outer grass. But for home purposes 
and general occasion, something stout and short-legged with 
a blood head, and heels well protected (if you can hit upon 
such a combination) will carry you well enough. An extra 
ten pounds on fair hack action will not be thrown away if you 
would hunt far and late.' 

On the whole, most people who have tried it will agree 
with the same much travelled authority that the Pytchley is a 
'superlatively pleasant country,' to ride over. It is less hilly 
than High Leicestershire, except for the Hemplow Hills, which 
are indeed most painful eminences to confront after a quick 
burst ; it abounds both in grass and in foxes ; the fences, though 
everywhere big, are, save for the few exceptions indicated, not 
impossible for a good horse and man. Lastly, but very far 
from leastly, the farmers are with the fox hunters to a man ; 
many of them riding well themselves, and all staunch pre- 




' Rough and various ground. ' 

ROUND the ' Shires ' lie some dozen or so of packs, with many 
of which, save for the name of the thing, it is possible to get 
as good sport and as good fun as in those more fashionable 
districts ; and some few of which actually do over the same 
ground. Whyte-Melville has drawn for his own purpose a very 
wide distinction between the ' Shires ' and the ' Provinces,' 

R 2 


and his Provinces are very Provincial indeed. He has done so, 
not in scorn, very far indeed from that ; Whyte-Melville was too 
good a sportsman to turn his nose up at the homeliest esta- 
blishment in the roughest country in Great Britain, so long as 
things were done in a workmanlike manner. But his design 
was to accentuate the difference of ideas on the subject of sport 
between ' Old Rapid ' and his son. So he describes how the 
latter sees his fox run into after seven-and-twenty minutes 
without a check over the pick of High Leicestershire, in which 
run he has gone first from find to finish. And Papa Rapid 
possesses his soul in a real wild hunting run ; in which some 
twelve miles of rough and various ground have been covered 
in an hour and three-quarters, with only one check to speak 
of ; sharing his delights with a ' field ' consisting of Old Mat- 
thew (the huntsman), and his one whip, the Vicar, a schoolboy 
on his pony, and some three or four strapping yeomen. 1 His 
enumeration of the merits of such hunting grounds as a train- 
ing school for young sportsmen is worth quoting. 

In large woods, amongst secluded hills, or wild tracts of moor 
intersected by impracticable ravines, a lover of the chase is com- 
pelled by force of circumstances to depend on his own eyes, ears, 
and general intelligence for his amusement. He finds no young 
Rapid to pilot him over the large places, if he means going ; no 
crafty band of second-horsemen to guide him in safety to the 
finish, if his ambition is satisfied with a distant and occasional 
view of the stirring pageant ; no convenient hand-gate in the 
corner, no friendly bridge across the stream ; above all, no hurry, 
ing cavalcade drawn out for miles, amongst which to hide, and 
with whom pleasantly to compare notes hereafter in those self- 
deceiving moments, when 

Dined, o'er our claret we talk of the merit, 
Of every choice spirit that rode in the run. 
But here the crowd, sir, can talk just as loud, sir, 
As those who were forward enjoying the fun ! 

No. In the Provinces our young sportsman must make up his 
mind to take his own part, to study the coverts drawn, and find 

1 Riding Recollections, chs. xiii. and xiv. 



out for himself the points where he can see, hear, and, so to speak, 
command hounds till they go away ; must learn how to rise the 
hill with least labour, and descend it with 
greatest despatch, how to thread glen, 
combe, or dale, wind in and out of the 
rugged ravine, plunge through a morass, 
and make his way home at night across 
trackless moor, or open storm-swept 
down. By the time he has acquired 
these accomplishments, the horseman- 
ship will have come of itself. He will 
know how to bore where he cannot 
jump, to creep where he must 
not fly, and so manage his horse 
that the animal seems to share 

the intentions and intel- 
ligence of its rider. If he 
can afford it, and likes to 
spend a season or two in 
the Shires for the last 

superlative polish, let him go and welcome. He will be taught 
to get clear of a crowd, to leap timber at short notice, to put on 

' To creep \vhere he must not fly.' 


his boots and breeches, and that is about all that there is left for 
him to learn ! 

And he adds a shrewd fear lest he should ' offend an incalcu- 
lable number of good fellows and good sportsmen, were I to 
describe as provincial establishments, the variety of hunts, north, 
south, east, and west, with which I have enjoyed so much good 
company and good fun. Each has its oivn claim to distinction, 
some have collar -s, all have sport? 

But there are Provinces and Provinces. Such countries as 
that in which Squire Rapid was wont to bring his foxes to hand, 
with the aid of those incomparable hounds Challenger and 
Charmer, are rare now, and grow rarer every day, what with the 
march of steam and of intellect. And when found, their beauties 
and virtues, which we for our part would be the last of men to 
disparage, having indeed both by nature and training, a strong 
fancy for the more unfashionable side of fox hunting their 
charms, we say, are rather local than general. Born to them, 
he, we are inclined to think, would be something of an ass who 
should leave them for the more violent and gaudier delights of 
the Shires as perhaps Mr. Sawyer may have sometimes thought 
when things went wrong with his pretty wife ; for had he stayed 
at home, content to triumph over the Nimrods of his native 
wilderness, he had never met Miss Cissy Dove. Poor Bromley- 
Davenport has, indeed, vowed that he 

Counts the swell provincial lower than the Melton Muff; 

but the poet, we have the best possible authority for knowing, 
is ' a maker of images and very far gone from the truth.' Still, 
charming as these few natural nooks and corners of Old Eng- 
land are, not many, we imagine, meditating on some pleasant 
place wherein to pitch his hunting tent and enjoy his sport with 
something less than Meltonian frequency and ardour, and at 
something considerably less than Meltonian expense, would 
select such a one. As a rule they are 'far from rail and 
turnpike road,' and that is a drawback to all hunting quarters 
however much of an advantage it may be to all hunting grounds. 
But there is plenty of choice for him nearer civilisation. He 


need have no difficulty in finding all he wants ; good hounds 
and good country, good sport and good company, hunting and 
riding, without taking a journey to Corinth. Especially will 
he find them in those packs we have already alluded to as 
bordering on the Shires ; of some of which it may be fairly 
said that if not the rose, at least they have been so long in its 
company that only a very nice critic could mark the difference. 
Conspicuous among these is the ATHERSTONE, which hunts 
about equal parts of Leicestershire and Warwickshire, and a 
small corner of Staffordshire. The history of these hounds springs 
from sometime in the latter half of last century. The first recorded 
date is the year 1793 when Lord Talbot, of Ingestre Hall, sold 
his hounds to Mr. Lambton. The first Lord Donegal had pre- 
ceded Lord Talbot, and Lord Vernon succeeded him. In the 
latter's day the boundaries of the hunt were considerably 
enlarged, and orange took the place of the orthodox scarlet 
as the uniform of the hunt. But for some time after there 
appear to have been four divisions of the country, sometimes 
united under one master, sometimes hunted separately on a 
system of mutual accommodation. 1 It was in Mr. Osbaldes- 
ton's time that the pack received its present name, and the 
kennels moved to Witherley where they still stand. Sir Bel- 
lingham Graham, Mr. Anstruther Thomson, and Mr. Selby- 
Lowndes have been also among the masters. The. present 
master, Mr. Oakley, came into office in 1871. The country 
as at present established is bounded on the south by the North 
A\ r ar\vickshire, on the west by the South Staffordshire, by the 
Quorn and the Meynell on the north, and on the east by the 
Quorn, Sir Bache Cunard's and the Pytchley. The pick of the 
country lies of course on the eastern side, which is well com- 
manded by the universal Rugby, and farther north below 
Leicester is also some pretty galloping ground. When the 
meet is at Brownsoever, Coton House, Bitteswell, or Newnham 
Paddox, the ' fields ' are of true Leicester dimensions, the 
Quornites and the Pytchley men mustering in great force. The 

1 Records of the Cha;e, th. vii. 


most central point is Nuneaton, near the kennels, and handy for 
all the four days a week on which these hounds take the field. 
From Market Bosworth, all and from Leicester, Lutterworth and 
Coventry, nearly all the country can be ranged. The last-named 
is famous among cavalry quarters, and the gallant young gunner 
(of late years Horse Artillery have taken the old cavalry barracks) 
whom the authorities may have directed to pass his winter there 
will have little cause to grumble, if he be fond of fox hunting. 
Altogether the Atherstone is essentially a sporting country. 
There is much grass, and such ploughed land as there is, even 
in the Birmingham district, about the worst of all, is never very 
deep or sticky. There is plenty of jumping. In the greater 
part of this country the fences are very small, but very blind ; 
some of it, however, is big enough for anybody ; but none is of 
that desperate quality one meets with in some other quarters, 
in parts of the Belvoir Vale for instance, or round Market 
Harboro'. There are plenty of coverts of all sorts and sizes, 
from the snug little gorse at Coton to the big woods of 
Coombe ; and an excellent supply of foxes. 

Due south of this pleasant land lie the two Warwickshire 
packs. The southernmost, known as the WARWICKSHIRE, has 
a famous history, in which the names of the great John Warde, 
and, in county story, the yet greater Mr. Corbet, stand out 
with peculiar lustre. The latter reigned for twenty seasons, 
from 1791 to 1812. He was not a hard rider, but he had a 
rare good huntsman in Will Barrow, and was perhaps the most 
popular master of hounds that ever hunted the country. In 
his time the principal kennels were at Stratford-on-Avon, but 
he had others at Meriden, between Coventry and Coleshill, 
handier for the woodlands. Lord Middleton followed Mr. 
Corbet and managed matters for ten seasons, and then came 
an era of short masterships till 1839 when Mr. Barnard, father 
of the present Lord Willoughby de Broke, came into office and 
stayed there for seventeen years. Leamington is the great 
hunting centre, and famous not only for hunting, as it is the 
liveliest and most sociable of all the towns wherein the disciples 


of Nimrod do congregate. In the year 1822 the growing 
importance of Leamington had already begun to vex the souls 
of the good old county families who looked to Warwick as their 
capital. A year or two later Mrs. Landor wrote to her famous 
son at Florence that the charms of this new watering place were 
'driving the gentry away from Warwick.' Between 1830 and 
1840 Leamington used to boast itself a rival to Melton, and if 
other things than riding to hounds may come into the account, 
it was perhaps more than a rival. The steeplechases helped it 
much. In the great days of that amusement, when Captain 
Becher on Vivian held the pride of place afterwards held by 
Jem Mason on Lottery, before the star of Liverpool had risen, 
Leamington divided with St. Albans the honours of the flag. 
Nor is it only for the Warwickshire hounds that Leamington is 
handy. The Quorn, the Pytchley, and the Atherstone, the 
Duke of Grafton's, the Bicester, and the Heythrop may all 
be reached therefrom. The poorest part of the country is 
oddly enough just round about Leamington ; the best on the 
Shuckburgh side on the far east, where a deal of riding is 
wanted to see what hounds are doing. Banbury and Fenny 
Compton are also convenient quarters ; the latter more so for 
choice meets, the former, within the Oxfordshire border, as a 
place of residence, being by an hour or more nearer to London, 
and also containing more human interest. Stratford on the 
western side has also its advantages, besides that pre-eminent 
one of association with a certain William Shakespeare who 
knew the points of a good horse, as he knew everything else, 
better than most men. It is also near the kennels, which were 
settled at Kineton in the first year of Mr. Barnard's mastership, 
on land given to the hunt by Mr. George Lucy of Charlecote 
Park another association with the name of Shakespeare. So 
keen was the interest taken in the work all along the country- 
side that the materials were drawn to the spot by the waggons, 
five hundred and fifty-three in all, of one hundred and eighty 
farmers. 1 The grass lands of Warwickshire cover about one- 

1 Records of tne Chase, ch. vii. 

2 co HUNTING. 

third of the area ; they are often deep, and the ploughs are not 
of the lightest. There is a good deal of timber, and the hedges 
are thick and strong ; brooks are not very plentiful nor very 
large, though the land is watered by two rivers, the Avon and 
the Stour. Lord VVilloughby de Broke, the present master, 
hunts five days a week, though four only are in the bond. 
Both coverts and foxes are well cared for, and indeed there 
are few countries where the old hunting spirit has been better 
maintained than Warwickshire, and not many quarters where a 
man may quietly enjoy more good sport in pleasant company 
than Banbury. 

Though a separate pack of hounds has intermittently hunted 
the northern portion of the country since the beginning of the 
century, that now known as the NORTH WARWICKSHIRE was 
not definitely settled, according to 'Brooksby,' till 1853, when 
Mr. Selby-Lowndes took the mastership. He only stayed in 
the country for two seasons, but Mr. Baker, who followed, held 
it till ill-health made him retire in 1862. He showed fine 
sport, and so did Mr. Oswald Milne after him for seven seasons, 
and then his pack, a particularly good one, passed to Mr. Lamb, 
the present master. Birmingham on the north-west, Leaming- 
ton on the south, and Rugby on the east mark the boundaries 
of this Hunt, which is much smaller than the older branch on 
the south ; rougher too, with more woodland and less grass, 
and some say, rather fewer foxes. Still near Birmingham there 
is some nice galloping ground, and from Hillmorton Gorse 
or Bunker's Hill in the Rugby district one of the finest grass 
lines anywhere in England. Besides the towns mentioned, 
Coventry also comes into play for these hounds. 

Besides the Warwickshire packs Banbury also commands 
two others of historic repute, the BICESTER and the HEYTHROP. 
The first-named can show as fine a record as any pack in the 
kingdom, from the beginning of the century when Sir Thomas 
Mostyn had them, with the elephantine Stephen Goodall for 
huntsman, and when, according to ' The Druid,' upwards of a 
hundred hunters were stabled in the little town from which the 


hunt takes its name, and 'not a chimney corner was to be let' ' 
As Stephen weighed twenty stone he was not of much service 
when hounds ran fast, which, as a matter of fact, they do not 
seem very often to have done in those days. Sir Thomas had 
curious theories of breeding, and an almost fanatic aversion to 
tongue, which resulted in his hounds at last running almost 
mute. Tom Wingfield was a better servant to Sir Thomas 
than either Goodall or the ' great Mr. Shawe,' and, among other 
accomplishments, he was famous for being the only man able 
to keep in order Griff Lloyd, the hunting parson, and a great 
character in that country and time. Mr. Drake, the Squire of 
Shardeloes, succeeded to Sir Thomas, and the sport grew 
faster. Drake has always been a name of mark in this country, 
and when the present Squire hunted the country, and his 
brothers Edward (a parson, too, but of a different stamp to 
Griff Lloyd, and as good in the cricket field as the saddle) and 
George were in their prime, it took an uncommon good man and 
horse to beat the family. Besides Banbury, the country can be 
hunted from Bicester, Buckingham, and Brackley. Bicester is 
the most central, being only three miles from the kennels at 
Stratton Audley. Leighton and Bletchley are also convenient 
spots, especially if you hunt from London, and to one so hunt- 
ing there is no good country more accessible than this. Its 
stiffest part is in the northern angle running up to Daventry, 
sandwiched in between the Heythrop and the Warwickshire on 
the west and the Duke of Grafton's and a little corner of the 
Pytchley on the east. This is nearly all grass and fenced in 
true Northamptonshire style. In the centre lies the Bicester 
Vale, grassy too, but less formidable to cross, and separated 
from 'the fairest of all hunting quarters,' the beautiful vale of 
Aylesbury, by the Claydon Woods on the east, while on the 
south lie the deep Oxford woodlands, which are mostly shared 
with Lord Macclesfield. Hereabouts the country is rough, 
deep, and wild, and bad to cross ; but eastwards towards Brill 
a fairer prospect opens, and in the days before Oxford became a 

1 Scott and Seb right, ch. v. 


dame's school, when Whitecross Green or Islip Town End was 
the meet, the undergraduates used to muster strong. All this 
part of the country, known locally as the Quarters, is com- 
manded from Oxford, but that once great centre of learning, 
and other things less convenient, perhaps, but to young minds 
not less agreeable, is a little far off for the best of the Bicester. 
While in this country, we can hardly leave unnoticed the 
WHADDON CHASE pack, better known as Mr. Selby-Lowndes's. 
Save for a break of five seasons, when he was with the North 
Warwickshire and the Atherstone, the 'Squire' of Whaddon 
has hunted this country for over forty years. What the country 
is can be said in a very few words it is the Vale of Aylesbury, 
immortalised in song by Whyte-Melville, and in speech of 
various degrees of eloquence by all who have ever ridden over 
its glorious pastures in dry weather. In a deep winter its 
charms are more disputable, though indeed no one can deny 
their powers of attraction. It is full of brooks, but all, .save the 
Addington Brook only, clean fair jumps ; and the doubles of 
the Vale are as famous as the ox fences of Market Harboro', and, 
in some eyes, as impracticable. No doubt, to ride straight 
over this country does require a very good pair ; but, given 
the necessary qualifications, it is heavenly the ' Londoner's 
Leicestershire,' as ' Brooksby,' invoking 'apt alliteration's artful 
aid,' has styled it ; ' one great dairy farm rich pasture from 
end to end,' but also, 'one week a springboard, the next it is a 
treacle pot.' At its best, however, he truly describes it as 'a 
lovely succession of sweet-scenting meadows, from whose elastic 
face a horse bounds easily and gladly on to sound firm banks, 
to light with equal safety on turf renewed beyond, while hounds 
spread out at their fences and carry a broad head from field to 
field.' The fences are, as we have said, big, and the doubles 
especially take a deal of doing. But if big, they are gentle- 
manly ; they are alike from end to end, and you may as a rule 
have them anywhere you please all down the line. Conse- 
quently there is none of the cramming and pushing for the one 
place that so often mars the fun in the Shires ; and though there 



is often a crowd in the Vale, there is generally plenty of room 
lor it to disport itself, particularly if hounds run fast. ' Brooksby' 
describes the sort of nag for this country in more detail than he 
generally devotes to such matters, and 
though the style of animal that will 
carry you in comfort over a strongly 
fenced grass country must be pretty 

Something to think about 
next day.' 

much the same all the world over, his description is worth 
quoting : 

The Vale calls for all the best essentials in a hunter. He must 
gallop, he must jump, and he must stay. He need not be an abso- 
lute flyer, but he can't be too good ; and it is noticeable that a man 
tutored in the Vale is not only likely to ride well over the best of 
the Shires, but generally brings thither a stamp of cattle that can 
do him credit. Stoutness is a main feature in a Vale horse. Hocks, 
quarters, and back are the main points, depth of chest and ribs 
indispensable. The length of one type of Leicestershire horse is 


out of place. But there are two sorts for Leicestershire, and the 
thick one is the better. This is the Aylesbury horse. 1 

Leighton and BletchJey are the most handy entrances to 
this little Garden of Eden for the Londoner ; Aylesbury and 
Winslow are quite as good or better for the country, but not so 
convenient for the railway. Christmas Gorse and High Haven 
are memorial names, and the line between them to be beaten 
nowhere in this mortal vale of ours ; from Aston Abbots, 
Creslow Great Ground, or the Addington Coverts, it will be 
strange if you get not something to think about the next day ; 
from the latter place it may very possibly be the temperature 
of the Addington Brook. Mr. Lowndes hunts twice a week, 
on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with an occasional by-day in the 
woodlands on the north-eastern side. For the last few seasons 
he ceased to advertise his meets, owing to the unremunerative 
crowds the London trains used to let loose on him ; but he 
has latterly gone back to the newspapers. His pack, however, 
is maintained by subscription, and if you hunt with it, you are 
expected to contribute to its maintenance ; should you forget 
to do so, you are pretty sure to be reminded of your forgetful- 
ness. The Vale is common ground with the Rothschild stag- 
hounds, and in part with the Bicester. 

The history of the HEYTHROP centres round two cardinal 
landmarks, the figure of Jem Hills, and the fame of the Great 
Tar Wood run in Lord Redesdale's mastership. Up to the 
year 1835 the country had been hunted by the Dukes of 
Beaufort alternately with their home and Badminton district. 
In that year the sixth duke found his health was not equal to 
the divided duty, and, after some difficulties, a committee of 
management was formed, consisting of Mr. Langston of Sarsdon, 
Lord Redesdale, and Mr. Mostyn. The hounds were all from 
the Badminton kennels, and Jem Hills 2 came from Lord Ducie 
to hunt them. Jem was a great character, and 'The Druid' 
has gathered a record of his sayings and doing? which puts him 

A The Hunting Countries of England, vol. i. p. 362. 

2 Jem Hills had been many years Whipper-in to the Badminton Pack, and 
consequently knew the Heythrop country well. 


fis an historic personage quite on a par with the Dick Knights, 
Stephen Goodalls, Tom Wingfields, and Tom Ranees of an 
earlier day. 1 His style of hunting was peculiar, and it may be 
said of it as was said of Charles Payne's with the Pytchley, that 
with anyone else it had been impossible. But with him it was 
marvellously effective. He was a great rider, and a very fair 
cricketer, playing for eight seasons in the Sussex eleven in the 
golden days of old Lillywhite. However, we must leave Jem's 
biography to 'The Druid,' and get back to the country. Lord 
Redesdale, who had been supreme for many seasons, had in 
1855 to turn to sterner things. In 1851 he had been elected 
Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords, and after 
trying to combine the saddle and the senate for four seasons, 
he found the work too hard, and made his choice for the latter. 
Mr. Hall succeeded, and showed good sport for some years ; 
then followed a committee again ; in 1865 Mr. A. W. Hall came 
into office and remained there till 1873, when Mr. Albert Brassey 
took the hounds, and keeps them to this day. In 1865 Tom 
Hills, a nephew of the great Jem, donned the green plush 
livery of the hunt, but he had not his uncle's gifts ; and 
after four seasons he gave way to Stephen Goodall, who 
carried the horn till Mr. Brassey promoted his first whip, 
John Hasleton. The Heythrop country, which is about twenty 
miles in extent from east to west, and fifteen from north to 
south, presents many varieties. The Cotswold uplands, on 
the west and north-west, give a light galloping country, with 
a very variable scent, which is best in wet weather, fenced 
mostly with stone walls, formidable to look at, but easy enough 
to surmount for a nag who knows the trick of them. They are 
not solid, and there is never a ditch on either side, though you 
may occasionally, if a stranger in the land and too adventurous, 
find yourself descending into an old quarry. According to 
' Brooksby,' the mode of encompassing these obstacles adopted 
by an old hunter is not comfortable. He 'will get so near 
to a wall that he rises almost perpendicularly, and mutatis 

1 Sen Scott and Sebright, ch. v. , 



mutandis as to head and tail descends almost vertically on 
the other side. To accommodate yourself to this form of 
calisthenics, your body is at one moment lying along his neck, 
and at the next it must be thrown back on to the crupper, your 
spinal cord being called upon to perform the hinge-action 
required.' This form of exercise is undoubtedly laborious, 
especially if practised fifty-four times in a single day, as an ' old 

' Where Jack the whip in ambush lay.' 

Oxonian' has assured our authority once happened to him at 
college. But we do not think it is necessary ; at least we 
never found it so in the days when we used to disport ourselves 
in that country, and though our tale never certainly reached 
such prodigious dimensions as that of the 'old Oxonian's' 
(though possibly it may have risen to them by the time we can 
adopt the same style), we have heard the rattle of the stones 


pretty often in our time. On the Gloucestershire side is the 
most grass land ; a nice country this, the Slaughter Vale, ovei 
which a fox will probably take you from Bruern Abbey or 
Gawcombe, being about the cream of it all. Round Heythrop, 
where the master lives, Chapel House and Pomfret Castle, 
there is also some pretty riding. Bradwell Grove is the great 
meet for the stone walls, and here the hounds come regularly 
on the first Wednesday of each month to draw Jolley's Gorse. 
There were few hunting undergraduates in the old days who 
had not hanging on their walls the famous print recording the 
humours of a 'Gallop with Jem Hills from Bradwell Grove.' 
Tar Wood is down in the southern corner, a common property 
with the Old Berkshire. It is a deep heavy wood, and the 
country round about is not very engaging. Man, according to 
the poet, ' gets no second day,' and we do not know that Tar 
Wood has ever renewed its ancient fame; The great run, 
immortalised by Egerton Warburton in one of the best of his 
hunting ballads, took place on December 24, 1845. 

He waited not, he was not found, 
No warning note from eager hound, 
But echo of the distant horn, 
From outskirts of the cover borne, 
Where Jack the whip in ambush lay, 
Proclaim'd that he was gone away. 

And go away he did. The peculiar feature of this run, according 
to the hero of the day, Mr. Whippy, 'was the stoutness and 
intrepidity of the fox. With the exception of just touching 
one corner of Bay's Wood at Cokethorpe, he never once sought 
shelter in a cover of any description. The distance from point 
to point is from fifteen to sixteen miles, and I am sure the 
distance run over must have been at least twenty miles. Time, 
one hcur and forty-two minutes.' Well may the poet sing : 

When younger men of lighter weight 
Some tale of future sport relate, 
Let Whippy show the brush he won, 
And tell them of the Tar Wood run. 


In the Oxford days of the present writer, we used to look with 
peculiar veneration at Joe Tollit, who even then could show 
many a younger man the way to go, for his share in the glories 
of this great day. 

The speed of horse, the pluck of man, 

They needed both, who led the van ; 

This Holmes can tell, who through the day 

Was ever foremost in the fray ; 

And Holloway with best intent, 

Still shivering timber as he went ; 

And Williams clinging to the pack 

As if the League were at his back ; 

And Tollit, ready still to sell 

The horse that carried him so well. 

But we wander, and must hark back. The Heythrop have 
plenty of woodland hunting ; Whichwood Forest and Blenheim 
Park on the south-east, and the woods of Stockley, Kiddington, 
and Glympton. Hounds are not allowed either in Whichwood 
or Blenheim till late in the autumn, so the cub hunting has to 
be done in the smaller coverts. Four days a week is the Heythrop 
fare, and a frequent by-day, for foxes are plentiful everywhere. 
The Monday meets range from Chipping Norton, where the 
kennels are, up to the Warwickshire border, and include about 
the best of the country. On Wednesday hounds are alternately 
on the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire side. Friday is the 
day for the Cotsvvolds, and Saturday for the Oxford woodlands. 
Chipping Norton (about three hours and a quarter from Pad- 
dington) is the most central quarter ; but both from Oxford 
and Banbury the Heythrop can always be reached, though 
from the former place you have to go some distance to get 
into their best country. Fast and strong horses and quick 
jumpers are an essential part of your equipment for hunting 
with the Heythrop hounds. 

Another pack familiar to all Oxford men is the SOUTH 
OXFORDSHIRE, or as they loved best to call it, Lord Maccles- 
neld's. His lordship hunted these hounds from 1857 to 


1884, when Mr. Charles Morrell took the mastership. En- 
circling Oxford in its welcome embrace, this country runs a few 
miles farther north-west to Islip, while on the south it joins 
Mr. Garth's borders at Marlow. From Henley to Moulsford 
it marches westward with the South Berkshire, from Moulsford 
northwards to Islip with the Old Berkshire, while on the east 
a pretty straight line from Wendover to Marlow divides it from 
the Old Berkeley. A small country, it can carry only two days 
a week, but it is a most unusual thing if on one at least of those 
two days there is not some fun going. The best of the ground 
is round about Thame, and that is certainly good enough, for it 
is in fact a part of the Aylesbury Vale. South of this little 
town, which shares with Oxford the command of the country, 
lies the inn of the 'Three Pigeons,' the best of all their fixtures, 
with its light grass, its flying fences, and Haseley Brook, name 
of delight or fear to many an Oxonian, according to the hydro- 
phobic qualities of himself and his horse. In the immediate 
neighbourhood of Oxford the country grows worse for riding. 
Here are the woodlands, those ' Quarters ' already spoken of. 
'Wet, grim woods are these,' says a recent writer, 'dark within 
and cold without ; but they make hounds, and they give a certain 
amount of sport, though their depths are unfathomable and 
their rides bid defiance to a stranger.' Yet there is many a 
green spot in this grim district ; one of the best gallops ever 
enjoyed by the present writer during his sojourn at Oxford was 
with an afternoon fox from Stow Wood. 

Directly south of the Pytchley, between the Bicester and 
Mr. Lowndes's countries lies that hunted by the DUKE OF 
GRAFTON'S hounds. Early in the present century this pack 
had quite a character of its own, thus graphically described by 
1 The Druid : ' 

They were rather round than deep in their bodies, had good 
legs and feet, were very stout, but wild as hawks. No fox could 
live before them if he hung, and they did not change ; but over 
the open, when the morning flush was on them, they could not 
hold it, and could never pinch him. They ran by ear more than 



by nose, and when they got to a ride half the pack would leave the 
cry, hop round to the next ride, cock up their ears till they heard 
the others bringing it on, and then throw themselves in at his 
brush. In the latter days of Joe Smith, Tom Rose hunted them, 
and for many years afterwards had the whole control over them. 
He bred them much larger but never altered their character. He 
was a fine joyous old fellow as ever cheered a hound, and no one 
knew 'better what he was about. Being once asked why he bred 
his hounds -so wild, 'Why?' says he, ' I'll tell you why. Nine 
days out often I am in a wood. Every fox I find I mean to kill, 
and these .hounds are the sort that will have him. An open country 
and a woodland park are different things. What you call a good 
pack will never^catch a bad fox, and as I want to hunt him instead 
of his hunting me, I think my hounds best calculated for my 
country.' . . . After the old Duke's death, the late Lord South- 
ampton took them, and Tom Rose continued to hunt them. They 
were kept much in the same form, and with the same result ; in 
short, he killed his foxes in the woodlands, and they beat him in 
the open. 1 

There is plenty of woodland still in this country, which is 
not now so large as it was in Lord Southampton's day and 
before then, but large enough to give three days a week. But 
besides woodland there is grass, and there is plenty of jumping. 
Along the northern boundary, marching with the Pytchley, lies 
the best of the ground, which only a Pytchley nag and a bold 
rider will cross in safety. The north-western part is the best 
and grassiest ; here you may gallop westward over the Bicester 
borders, or northward over the Pytchley towards Shuckburgh. 
On the eastern side, round Towcester and Blisworth, there is 
more plough, and the fences are mostly smaller, though in 
the Towcester district there are some formidable bullfinches, 
regular ' stitchers ' ! In the centre of the country run two 
pleasant vales, though rather interfered with now by the railway. 
The woodlands lie to the south and east, and are generally 
hunted on the Wednesday, Friday being devoted to the central 
vales, and Monday to the Northamptonshire quarter. Whittle- 
bury and Salsey Forests give, according to 'Brooksby,' 'the 

1 The Post and the Paddock, ch. xiv. 


perfection of woodland hunting, amid open rides and hollow 
glades ; and it generally happens that hounds eventually work 
their way into the open,' either through Wicken Spinnies, or 
across the Ouse into Mr. Lowndes's country. The kennels are 
at Wakefield Lawn, near Stony Stratford, and the latter town, 
Weedon, Wolverton, Towcester, Blixworth, and Buckingham 
are all convenient for head-quarters. Weedon is the best of 
all, for you get from there not only the Duke's, but a good part 
of the Pytchley, and the cream of the Bicester and the War- 
wickshire. Indeed, it shares with Coventry the pride of place 
as winter quarters for the soldier who, in default of sterner 
game, delights to employ his superfluous energies on ' the 
image of war without its guilt, and only five-and-twenty per 
cent, of its danger.' 

East and north-east of the Duke of Grafton's country lies 
the domain of the OAKLEY, marching with the Pytchley from 
Northampton to Higham Ferrers, thence to Huntingdon with 
ihe Milton ; turning south and west the line runs along the 
Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire borders to Leighton, whence 
northward it joins the boundaries of the Whaddon Chase and 
the Duke of Grafton's. 

Fifty years ago the hounds belonged to the Duke of Bedford. 
Next they belonged to the country, who sold them to Mr. Ark- 
wright. The latter added to them large drafts from the Belvoir and 
Brocklesby, and, by dint of a quarter of a century of skilful breed- 
ing, built up a grand pack, which, on his proffering his resignation 
four years ago, the present Duke of Bedford purchased from him, 
and generously presented to the hunt. 

Such is the history of this hunt as lately set forth ; but 
' The Druid ' carries the record back to the first decade of 
the century, when the Duke of that day took them in hand, 
with George Wells for his huntsman. Mr. Robert Arkwright 
had hunted the country for six-and-twenty seasons four days a 
week till, some six years ago, finding the work too much for him, 
he divided it with Mr. T. Macan, he himself hunting the wood- 
lands in the northern half twice a week, and his colleague 

262 . HUNTING. 

keeping to the open for the other two days. The country is 
eminently a sporting one, full of foxes and coverts, and of 
squires ' hunting from home,' as we have said before, the best 
of all supports to a pack of hounds. But it must in truth be 
said that as a country to ride over it has many superiors. It 
is flat, which is in its favour certainly ; but also it is thickly 
wooded, and very thickly ploughed. On the western side from 
Newport Pagnell to Northampton there is a fair sprinkling of 
meadow land, and on the Kimbolton side you may often get a 
gallop into the best of the Fitzwilliam country. But plough is 
the prevailing feature, so that a strong short-legged horse is the 
animal to bestride ; very fast he need not be, but he must jump, 
both big and cleverly, for the fences as a rule are hairy and 
trappy. Bedford and Bletchley are the best quarters, while 
Starnbrook commands the woodlands, which, it may here be 
said, are liberally supplied with rides. 

A rare pack is the MILTON, or, as it is more commonly 
spoken of, the Fitzwilliam. For over a hundred years it has 
been the property of the family of that name, and the 
Milton blood ranks with the Belvoir and the Brocklesby as the 
best in the kingdom. And a fine large sporting country it has 
to hunt over, stretching from Huntingdon and St. Ives on the 
south, almost to Crowland on the north. On the west it 
marches with the Pytchley and Cottesmore good neighbours 
while south and east lie the Oakley, the Cambridgeshire and 
the West Norfolk. Like the Oakley, the Fitzwilliam country is 
a severe one for horses, wild and deep, the coverts often very far 
apart, much wood, and a superfluity of plough. There is also 
a particular kind of fence in the south and south-western dis- 
tricts ; blackthorn, of abnormal height and density to be sur- 
mounted best, say those who know, by that discreet process known 
as going round. Yet, though as a riding ground this country 
cannot rank high, so good are the hounds, so stout the foxes, so 
genuine the condition and general economy of things, that the 
Fitzwilliam bears a name second to none in the favour of sports- 
men. From Peterborough and Huntingdon the country can best 


be reached, both under two hours' journey from London ; and the 
former only three miles distant from the kennels at Milton Park. 
To many of the meets the hounds have to be carried by rail, 
and generally it may be said that a day's hunting with this pack 
involves the covering of a good deal of ground. The best of 
the country belongs to the Wednesday meets, Lilford, Thrap- 
ston Bridge, Bythorne Tollbar, and so forth. A good fox from 
Fitchmarsh Warren, Lord Lilford's park, Barmvell Wold, Stan- 
wick Pastures, or Catworth Gorse, will nearly always take a 
good line southward along the Pytchley border, and possibly 
over it. Eastward of Elton again, in the Peterborough district, 
there is some fine grass land, and the ploughs about these parts 
are less tenacious than elsewhere. Farther east of Peterborough 
lie the Great Fens, and if foxes put their heads that way, as they 
often do, especially from Holme Wood, you may as well turn 
yours homeward ; for there is little to be done there, unless your 
nag be web-footed. 

To go one by one through all the good packs of Eng- 
land and their countries is beyond our scope. ' Cecil ' and 
' Brooksby ' have done that for us, and to them we must refer 
our readers who still are undecided, or thirst for yet larger 
knowledge. In this chapter we have specially confined our- 
selves to the best of those which lie within convenient reach of 
London ; trying to indicate the quarters where a man, ambitious 
of some larger sport than is to be met with among the more 
distinctly suburban packs, and yet compelled to be in London 
a certain number of days in the week, is likely to gratify his 
ambition most reasonably and easily. Many things have neces- 
sarily been left unsaid ; many countries left unvisited. Cheshire 
and Shropshire, for instance, counties as rich in hunting 
memories and hunting realities as any in England. The 
' Green Collars ' of Cheshire are as historic as the ' White 
Collars ' of the Pytchley or the ' Blue and Buff' of Badminton; 
and their historic heroes, the famous old Nestor, Sir Harry 
Mainwaring, Tom Ranee, with his ' single eye,' worth many 
another's two, Joe Maiden, and many another good sportsman 


and fellow have been enshrined for all time in the strains of 
Egerton Warburton. Shropshire still cherishes the memories 
of Tom Moody (whose mythic fame, however, is by all accounts 
very much in excess of his actual merits) and the great ' Trojan,' 
Sir Bellingham Graham (the only master of hounds Shropshire 
has known not native to the country), and wild Jack Mytton. 
Yorkshire has not yet lost the memory of its two idols, Tom 
Hodgson and Will Danby, and the breed of horse, hound, 
and man, does its best to keep that memory green. The 
Brocklesby, the Burton, and the Blankney, still keep up the 
fame that Lincolnshire won in the old days of Assheton Smith 
and 'the Squire.' A special chapter were all too short fitly to 
commemorate the glories past and present of the Badminton 
country. The charms of the Blackmoor Vale in his later 
years drew Whyte-Melville away from the Shires of his earlier 
love : indeed, he has, as it were, thrown down a challenge to the 
whole sporting world, by avowing that, were he ' sure of a fine 
morning and a safe mount J he would ' ask for no keener pleasure 
than an hour's gallop with Lord Wolverton's bloodhounds over 
the Blackmore Vale.' A gallop from the Blowing Stone over 
the Wantage Vale when Tread well held the horn of the Old 
Berkshire will never die out of the memory of him who has been 
fortunate even once in his life to experience it especially if 
he should have happened during its course to get in the way 
of Mr. ' Tom ' Duffield. ' The Druid ' has declared that the 
spring hunting in the New Forest is ' charming beyond de- 
scription ; ' though his love of the picturesque, at least as much 
as of riding to hounds, seems to have played its part in his 
rapture. By the light of the ' Stars of the West ' a man may 
still see to enjoy his favourite sport, when the fun of falling 
has began to pall, and big fences wax bigger with a waning 
sight. 1 And so we might go on for ever and ever, hunting 
by the 'moonlight of memory,' as the Duke of Rutland's 
hounds will hunt so long as there is any light in the sky for 

1 See A New Book of Sports (Bentley, 1885) for a capital description of a 
day's fox hunting on Dartmoor. 


them to see by. But we must make an end, not flattering our- 
selves that we have exhausted even that side of the subject we 
have approached, but content if, like a finger-post, we have 
been of some use in pointing to some of the many roads by 
which the sport of fox hunting may be enjoyed. 

Pastime for princes ! prime sport of our nation ! 

Strength in their sinew and bloom on their cheek ; 
Health to the old, to the young recreation ; 

All for enjoyment the hunting field seek. 

Eager and emulous only, not spiteful : 

Grudging no friend, though ourselves he may beat j 

Just enough danger to make sport delightful 1 
Toil just sufficient to make slumber sweet. 




THE true pleasures of hunting are known only by those who 
hunt from home. Not everyone will agree with this statement. 
Probably a great many now-a-days perhaps the majority will 
strongly disagree with it. Given plenty of good sound grass to 
gallop over, good sound fences to jump over, a good sound 
horse for partner in these ' violent delights,' and a sufficient 
company of human beings to get the better of, what more can 
reasonable mortal man require ? Foxes and hounds well, no 
doubt they are a part of the fun, though sometimes rather a 
troublesome part ; still, if foxes will always be found at home, 
and will always run straight, and if hounds will go fast enough 
to keep out of the horses' way, they are a part that may be 
endured. But where a man lives, what can that matter ? He 
only lives to hunt (that is, to ride), so the question should be, 
where does he hunt, not where does he live ? If he happens 
to live at Melton, or Market Harboro', or Grantham, 01 
Rugby, or anywhere contiguous to those famous centres of 
civilisation, well and good he must find it precious slow when 
hounds do not meet, though of such useless days there are, to 
be sure, few in those blissful neighbourhoods. But for the 
mere living, what fellow, who is not a fool, would live out of 
London ? Very well ; that is one way of looking at things, with 
which we certainly do not intend to quarrel. It is purely a 
matter of personal taste, and anyone who tries to set up an 
arbitrary standard for that is a fool indeed. But, by a parity of 
reasoning, we shall stick to our own colours ; nay, and more, 


we shall be much surprised not to find most sportsmen (as 
different beings from mere riding men, different even from 
mere hunting men) ranged at our side beneath them. The 
true pleasures of hunting, we say it again, are known only by 
those who hunt from home. 

There are many reasons why this should be so, on which 
we feel that we could expatiate finely, but will not. One of 
them, and perhaps the cardinal one, has been well put by 
Charles Kingsley (as genuine in his love of sport as in every- 
thing else that becomes a man) in the most charming of his 
shorter pieces, ' My Winter Garden.' He is riding through the 
fir woods round about Eversley, when he encounters (luckily 
he does not head !) a hunted fox, and Mr. Garth's hounds in 
full cry after him. 

And now appear, dim at first and distant, but brightening and 
rearing fast, many a right good fellow, and many a right good 
horse. I know three out of four of them, their private histories and 
the private histories of their horses, and could tell you many a good 
story of them, but shall not, being an English gentleman, and not 
an American litterateur. They may not all be very clever, or very 
learned, or very anything except gallant men ; but they are all 
good enough company for me, or anyone ; and each has his own 
speciality for which I like him. That huntsman I have known for 
fifteen years, and sat many an hour beside his father's death-bed. 
I am godfather to that whip's child. I have seen the servants of 
the hunt, as I have the hounds, grow up round me for two genera- 
tions, and I feel for them as old friends, and like to look into their 
brave, honest, weather-beaten faces. That red-coat there, I knew 
him when he was a schoolboy ; and now he is a captain in the 
Guards, and won his Victoria Cross at Inkerman ; that bright 
green coat is the best farmer, as well as the hardest rider, for many 
a mile round ; one who plays, as he works, with all his might, and 
might have been a beau sabrettr, a colonel of dragoons. So might 
that black-coat, who now brews good beer, and stands up for the 
poor at the Board of Guardians, and rides, like the green-coat, as 
well as he works. That other black-coat is a county banker, but 
he knows more of the fox than the fox knows of himself; and where 
the hounds are, there will he be this day. That red-coat has 
hunted kangaroo in Australia ; that one, as clever and good as he 


is brave and simple, has stood by Napier's side in many an Indian 
fight ; that one won his Victoria at Delhi, and was cut up at 
Lucknow with more than twenty wounds ; that one has but what 
matter to you what each man is ? Enough that each can tell one 
a good story, welcome one cheerfully, and give one out here, in 
the wild forest, the wholesome feeling of being at home among 

In that last sentence lies, perhaps, the root of the matter, 
the wholesome feeling of being at home among friends : the sense 
of companionship, the feeling that you are not selfishly enjoying 
a solitary pleasure, but are, for the time at least, united by a 
common bond with all sorts and conditions of your fellow-men, 
among whom you live, with all of whom you are more or less 
acquainted, and in whose pursuits and pleasures, habits and 
manners, you are more or less concerned or interested. Trojan 
and Tyrian, Whig and Tory, here is a common ground on which 
all can meet and disport themselves. Surely this is no light 
pleasure in these quarrelsome days. And there are other 
pleasures, too, less sentimental, if you like, and perhaps to be 
more generally appreciated. There is the pleasure, for instance, 
of knowing the country well, knowing it in all its varying moods 


Fresh spring and summer and winter hoar ; 

in tasting what Whyte-Melville calls the romance of hunting 

The remote scenes we should perhaps never visit for their own 
sake, the broken sunlight glinting through copse and gleaming on 
fern, the woodland sights, the woodland sounds, the balmy odours 
of Nature, and all the treats she provides for her votaries, tasted and 
enjoyed, with every faculty roused, every sense sharpened, in the 
excitement of our pursuit. 

And this, everyone will agree, is a great profit as well as 
pleasure. ' When my young hounds are taken out to air,' says 
Beckford, ' my huntsman takes them into that country in which 
they are designed to hunt. It is attended with this advantage : 
they acquire a knowledge of the country, and when left behind 



at any time, cannot fail to find their way home more easily.' 
A man has this advantage over a dog, that he can ask the way 
when he has lost it : though in certain counties he is by no 
means sure of getting a very lucid answer, or indeed, any 
answer at all, if the point to which he craves direction be any- 
where out of the immediate local sphere of the party interro- 
gated. The writer of this chapter was once, many years ago, 

^I'V" "'''''' ~'r '""< 

&&* i<r;U--' 

-'V> " -^^^'f > / 

. - ...;<4^-v ^"^^T 
jv ,' :,u - - v^y J 


Sons of MacAdam. 

on his way to meet Mr. Garth's hounds at ' The Checquers,' a 
public-house on Eversley Green. Being then a stranger in the 
land, and having gone about as far as the map had told him he 
should go, without seeing any sign of hunting man or beast, or 
of that place of entertainment for them to which he was bound, 
he asked his way of a passing countryman. A stare, a shake 
of the head, and some sounds in an unknown tongue, were all 
the answers he could get. So, committing himself into the 


hands of the great goddess Diana, he pursued his way, and lo, 
within less than a mile, ' The Checquers/ and all things con- 
venient ! And yet a public-house, one might have thought, 
would have been within the sphere of that native's geographical 
knowledge. But indeed the autochthones of those parts are not 
of a nimble intelligence. Then, besides these considerations, a 
close familiarity with the country hunted over must obviously 
be an inestimable advantage to all concerned. From the 
heroes of the first flight down to the most persistent son of 
MacAdam such a knowledge is a thing greatly to be desired. 
To know the safest and easiest, and consequently the quickest, 
way from field to field ; to know where man has smoothed and 
where he has increased the intricacies of nature, is not to be 
despised by the boldest of riders. For though falls will come 
and must not be shirked, it is clear that he will cross a country 
quickest who does so with fewest falls. And though there are 
men happily gifted with an eye for a country such as no fami- 
liarity will insure to some, yet this sweet and most necessary 
intimacy is not to be gained by the mere bird of passage. 

Let us call Whyte-Melville again to the convenience of hunting 
from home, as we have called him for the romance. 

We require no large stud, can choose our meets, and, above all, 
are indifferent to weather. A horse comes out so many times in a 
season ; if we don't hunt to-day we shall next week. Compare 
this equable frame of mind with the irritation and impatience of a 
man who has ten hunters standing at the sign of ' The Hand in 
Pocket,' while he inhabits the front parlour without his books, 
deprived of his usual society and occupation, the barometer at set 
fair, and the atmosphere affording every indication of a six-weeks' 
frost ! 

It is true that in many of our famous hunting towns there 
has grown up a little hunting society, which for several reasons, 
perhaps, inhabits the same quarters, and some members of 
which have possibly built themselves ' lordly pleasure houses,' 
and thus in a manner become affiliated to the soil. At Melton 
and at Market Harboro' this is particularly the case. At the 


former town this has been so through the century from the 
time of Lord Sefton's famous mastership; and 'Nimrod,'it will 
be remembered, at the end of his great ' Quarterly ' article, expa- 
tiates (or makes ' Snob ' expatiate) in glowing terms on the grand 
style in which things were done. One is given to understand, 
moreover, that the society in that favoured spot is at this day a 
particularly sprightly and entertaining one. Certainly it must 
have been so a few years ago, to judge from the racy strains in 
which Whyte-Melville has chanted the praises of ' the Monks 
that live under the hill.' l And, no doubt, the golden youth of 
those happy hunting grounds still live as hard, and ride as hard, 
in as gay, if not quite in as grand, style as their fathers who bid 
' Snob ' to their board in the evening after they had cut down 
him and the ' little bay horse ' over the grass in the day. 

But still, this is not quite the same thing as hunting from 
home. Of course, these hunting centres are very gay and jovial 
places, and the company, both male and female, of the very 
best sort, both in the field and at home. Of course, too, to fre- 
quent the same place season after season, though it be only for 
hunting, and during the hunting season, is a very different thing 
from wandering in search of sport, or making London your 
head-quarters. But to live in a town for the sole purpose of 
hunting ; to hunt every day, and to take flight to London the 
moment the hunting is over perhaps at every temporary 
cessation is clearly a very different thing from hunting from 
your own house, your abiding place. It is, no doubt, a very 
good thing in its way, and to gay and vigorous spirits, blended 
with plenty of health, leisure, and money, is a most pleasant 
and easy way of passing time. But it is not the same thing as 
the other form of hunting, whose praises we uphold. Followed 
in that fashion, the pursuit of the fox, or whatever the animal to 
be hunted may be, becomes a part of the country gentleman's 
condition, like his flower garden, his dairy, his fat beasts, and 
so on. Hunting in this way, Nimrod is humanised ; his manners 

1 See his Songs and Verses. 



are softened, and are not permitted to become brutal using 
the words, of course, in a Pickwickian sense. 

But not to everyone does Diana grant her favours in this 
liberal fashion. Putting out of the question those who are 
governed by mere whims, there are many whom dire necessity 
forbids to take their hunting pleasures from any place but 
London. Men of business, to whom hunting is a relaxation ; 
who follow it for health's sake ; or from a keen native love of 

' Down with you by train on a hunting morning.' 

the sport, that not all the smoke and soot, the din and hurry 
of great Babylon can quench ; or for the sake of something to 
do a little more stimulating than a ride up and down Rotten 
Row, or a rubber of whist at their club ; or from whatever cause 
you please. Men who are pinned down to this great centre of 
gravity, and can leave it, except at the recognised season of 
holiday, but for a few hours at a time. 


There are two ways in which hunting can be enjoyed from 
London : either by keeping your horses in town and taking them 
down with you by train on hunting mornings: or by keeping them 
at some hunting centre, and meeting them there or at the covert- 
side. Of these two ways, one may say perhaps that the first is 
best for yourself, the second for your horse. Both are feasible 
enough, but neither, we warn the doubting sportsman, is child's 
play. In both you must be prepared to take your pleasure 
somewhat seriously, not to say laboriously. In his autobiography 
Anthony Trollope gives a vivid picture of the hard work this 
form of pleasure entails ; and what Trollope found hard no one 
else will find easy, for he, indeed, like Walter Raleigh, could 
' toil terribly ' at work or play. He had just returned, in 
December 1872, from his voyage to Australia (where he had 
experienced some hunting of a novel kind), and though settled in 
London was determined not to lose wholly his favourite exercise. 

I got home in December 1872, and in spite of any resolution 
made to the contrary, my mind was full of hunting as I came back. 
No real resolutions had in truth been made, for out of a stud of 
four horses I kept three, two of which were absolutely idle through 
the two summers and winter of my absence. Immediately on my 
arrival I bought another, and settled myself down to hunting from 
London three days a week. At first I went back to Essex, my old 
county, but finding that to be inconvenient, I took my horses to 
Leighton Buzzard, and became one of that numerous herd of 
sportsmen who rode with 'the Baron 'and Mr. Selby-Lowndes. 
In those days Baron Meyer was alive, and the riding with his 
hounds was very good. I did not care so much for Mr. Lowndes. 
During the winters of 1873, 1874, and 1875 I had my horses back 
in Essex, and went on with my hunting, always trying to resolve 
that I would give it up. But still I bought fresh horses, and, as I 
did not give it up, I hunted more than ever. Three times a week 
the cab has been at my door in London very punctually, and not 
unfrequently before seven in the morning. In order to secure this 
attendance, the man has always been invited to have his breakfast 
in the hall. I have gone to the Great Eastern Railway ah ! so 
often with the fear that frost would make all my exertions useless, 
and so often too with that result ! And then, from one station or 



another station, have travelled on wheels at least a dozen miles. 
After the day's sport, the same toil has been necessary to bring me 
home to dinner at eight. This has been work for a young man 
and a rich man, but I have done it as an old man and compara- 
tively a poor man. 

In giving his preference to ' the Baron ' over Mr. Lowndes, 
Trollope, it is to be presumed, meant only to signify that to one 
hunting after this fashion the certainty of a gallop of some sort 
was the cardinal point to be aimed at He was too good a 
sportsman to wilfully prefer riding after the uncarted deer to the 
real hunting of the fox. But the fox is an uncertain beast. You 
may not find him at home ; and when you do you may not pre- 
vail on him to leave it, or at any rate to leave it in such a way 
as will conduce most to your pleasure. A blank day, or a day 
spent in pottering about from covert to covert with a cold scent, 
or in splashing up and down knee-deep in muddy woodlands, 
are clearly things to be avoided if possible by one who has 
travelled far for his fun and has not many hours to spare for it. 
By agreeing to satisfy yourself with such imitation of hunting, as 
the pursuit of the paddock- fed deer provides, you do avoid such 
things. You are sure of your game at any rate, and sure of a gallop 
of some sort, even if it be mainly along the hard high road which, 
however, is a contingency much rarer with the Rothschild than 
with the Royal pack. Again, the Staghounds meet at a later 
hour, the Queen's and Lord de Rothschild's at 11.30, the Mid 
Kent at 1 2 : and of course the fun is over much sooner. The 
hours, therefore, both of one's going and coming are more 
convenient A train, for example, leaves Euston at 9, which 
lands you at Winslow at 10.32. Tring you can reach at 10.19, 
starting a quarter of an hour later ; the same hour serves for 
Aylesbury, where you will arrive at 10.50, while Leighton can 
be reached at 10.24 by the 9.30 train. Every Tuesday and 
Friday, the days on which the Queen's hounds hunt, the Great 
Western Company run a special train to the station nearest to 
the place of meeting, which is never very far off. Maidstone, 
Tunbridge and Mailing, are the towns most convenient to the 


Mid Kent, whose kennels are at Wateringbury, near the first- 
named place. They hunt on Wednesdays and Saturdays, meet- 
ing at noon. The most persistent, then, of sluggards can enjoy 
the pleasure of the chase as provided by these packs without 
doing violence to his feelings. The others, such as are within 
easy reach of London, the Berkhamstead, Hon. H. Petre's, 
Surrey, and Warnham, do not advertise their fixtures, and do 
not possibly care very much for flying visits from strangers and 
pilgrims a sentiment which seems to be growing rather popular 
in most counties. For the Surrey, Red Hill and Croydon are the 
handiest stations, to both of which there is a plentiful supply of 
trains from Victoria, Charing Cross, and London Bridge. The 
Warnham pack, hunting three days a fortnight over the same 
country as the Crawley and Horsham Foxhounds, can be 
reached from Horsham, Dorking, and Cranleigh, which in their 
turn may be reached without any preternatural activity in the 
matter of early rising. Chelmsford, Ingatestone, and Ongar, are 
most convenient for the Hon. H. Petre's, which hunt on Tuesdays 
and alternate Saturdays, and a gallop over the Essex Roothings 
after these hounds is much thought of by those who have ex- 
perienced its delights, which unfortunately we never have. The 
Berkhamstead hunt but once a week, on Wednesday, and 
can be reached best from Great Berkhamstead, St. Albans, and 
Tring, Of all these packs, Her Majesty's and Lord de Roths- 
child's alone are not dependent on subscribers, a fact which their 
visitors will do well to bear carefully in mind 

Of Foxhounds the Londoner has a liberal choice. Within 
easy reach of head-quarters are the Essex and the Essex Union, 
the Surrey and the Surrey Union, the West Kent, the Burstow, 
the Old Berkeley, and the Hertfordshire. Mr. Garth's, the 
Crawley and Horsham, the Puckeridge, the East Essex, the 
Wickham, and Mr. Goodman's lie a little farther afield, but 
still handy enough to those who do not insist on the ' primrose 
path' of sport. Indeed, if you only get up early enough 
(though in that only, to be sure, lies the rub), and are not 
forced to study economy in the matter of railway tickets, there 


is no reason why you should not enjoy your gallop (at least 
take your chance of a gallop) with the Old Berkshire, the South 
Berkshire, the Bicester, the Heythrop, the Duke of Grafton's, 
and Mr. Selby-Lowndes's, nay, no reason why you should 
not penetrate into the very Shires themselves. By leaving 
King's Cross at 7.45 you can reach Grantham at 10.35, an( ^ 
a train from the same station starting half an hour earlier 
will land you at Melton at 10.32. Leaving Euston at 7.30 
you reach Rugby at 9.34 ; leaving St. Pancras at 8.10, you 
reach Market Harboro' at 10.44. I n short, if you do not 
mind, as we have said, taking your pleasure somewhat labo- 
riously, you may get plenty of hunting, and plenty of good 
hunting, without ever passing a winter's night away from your 
London home. But, certainly, if not sorrow, it is labour. It 
is not only the early rising ; though that alone, on a dark winter's 
morning when the water is of dubious warmth, and the fire 
probably will do nothing but smoke, in sullen protest against its 
unseasonable lighting, does indeed entail something of a struggle 
on this poor frail human flesh. To dress by candlelight is never 
an enlivening process, and when the dress is such as men go a- 
hunting in, it is often little short of misery. To button those 
knee-buttons, and tie those natty little bows below them, by 
the uncertain light of a candle, and with blue fingers senseless 
with cold ah ! my friend, nate mecum Consule Manlio must 
one not be very fond of the game, indeed, to bear these matu- 
tinal ills without repining more than once? But these are, 
after all, mere sensual sorrows. The man who would grudge 
to give his morning sleep for a gallop over the grass is unworthy 
the name of a sportsman and a Briton ! But these desperate 
hours signify long marches into the bowels of the land ; they 
signify long journeys by train, and they in their turn signify 
much disbursement of moneys, and much wear and tear of flesh, 
both human and equine. Nothing sooner tires a man, body 
and brain, than long and frequent railway journeys. Indeed, 
one might say that no man, unless he be of cast-iron nerves, 
can stand them long when once he is past the first vigour of 


manhood, especially if he be one who lives by brain-work. It 
is burning the candle at both ends, and we all know how 
dangerous a game that is. A youngster, some gallant guards- 
man, perhaps, quartered in London, or some sprightly young 
stockbroker, may dash down once or twice a week to Melton 
or Grantham, have his gallop, and dash back again with im- 
punity. But older men will be wise to take their delights less 
violently. And, indeed, in reason they will probably do so. 
For a man who can afford the drain on his purse inevitable 
from such a form of hunting, will hardly be so much a bonds- 
man to Necessity as to be compelled to live regularly in London. 
Let us suppose, then, that our Londoner has agreed with 
himself to pursue the fox soberly : he has, as we have shown, 
plenty of choice. If he choose to hunt with Mr. Garth, he 
will find as good a pack of hounds as any in England, a pleasant 
set of comrades, plenty of foxes, and genuine sport, if his ideas 
of fox hunting be not bounded by grass fields and flying fences. 
These hounds hunt four days a week, meeting at eleven, and 
can be reached best from Reading, Wokingham, and Bracknell. 
The two Surrey packs are good, but their country is bad, and 
the same must be said for the East Kent and Wickham. The 
West Kent have a terrible lot of woodland, but get sometimes 
into a nice bit of country round Penshurst. The Essex country, 
which is much given over to plough, and generally is not an 
engaging tract of land to ride over, except in the Roothings, 
can be commanded best from Harlow, Chelmsford, and Audley 
End. The Crawley and Horsham show good sport in Sussex, 
hunting four days a week, and meeting at eleven mostly, 
though sometimes a little later. Horsham and Steyning are 
the most convenient stations for their fixtures. The Old 
Berkeley are now united under Mr. Hardinge-Cox, who has 
taken the two countries, hunted to the end of '84-85 by Mr. A. 
H. Longman and Mr. A. Mackenzie ; the latter has taken his 
own hounds to the Woodland, Pytchley, vice Lord Lonsdale, 
who has taken his hounds to Blankney. They are to hunt four 
days a week. To meet them, Amersham, Slough, and Aylesbury, 


Watford, Rickmansworth, and Hemel Hempstead are con- 
venient points of departure. The Hertfordshire can be reached 
four days a week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and 
Saturday, from Luton, St. Albans, and Hitchin ; the Pucke- 
ridge, on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, from Bishop 
Stortford and Hungerford. With the Burstow one may 
hunt twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday, getting to 
them best from Reigate, East Grinstead, Horley, and Eden- 
bridge. Of all the packs to which we are at present limiting 
ourselves, this is perhaps the most favoured in the matter of 
country. Indeed, the members of that hunt have a saying, 
that if a horse can go in their country, he can go anywhere. 
We have thus very slightly indicated where a Londoner, bent 
on a moderate participation in the pleasures of fox hunting, 
may turn his head with the best chance of getting what he 
wants. For further particulars we must refer him to ' Brooksby's ' 
'Hunting Counties of England,' Stanford's Hunting Maps, an 
excellent article on ' Hunting from London ' in ' Baily's Maga- 
zine' for February 1884 (to the unnamed writer of which we 
hereby tender our best acknowledgments), and to the expe- 
riences of his own friends. 

The question remains, in what style will he elect to take his 
hunting ? Will he keep his horses in London and carry them 
backwards and forwards with him by rail, or will he settle them 
in quarters at the town most convenient to the fixtures of the 
pack with which he intends to hunt ? Much can be said for 
either plan, much against it. Let us take the former first 

The advantages of this course are clear. His horses will 
be under his own eye, and he will be able to vary his country 
at his pleasure. On the other hand, he will have to make an 
earlier start ; unless, of course, he sends his hunter down with a 
groom, and himself follows with a hack by a later train, or even 
sends horse and man down the day before ; both of which plans 
will obviously swell the expenses not a little. If he go down 
with his horse he must necessarily, unless the place of meeting 
be very close to the station, start in good time, to allow of that 


gentle pace at which it is expedient for the hunter to travel on 
his own legs in the anticipation of a long day's work. This, 
however, is a matter which concerns the man only, and is con- 
sequently of much less moment. What does concern the horse 
is the railway journey. On some horses a journey by rail has 
no more effect than on some human beings. On others it has 
a most injurious effect, both on their nerves and their temper. 
It is almost inevitable, too, from the confined space in which 
the horse is necessarily penned during the journey, that a 
certain stiffness will be visible when released at its end. If, 
however, he is a sedate and even-tempered beast, this will pass 
away soon enough when he' breathes the fresh air and stretches 
his limbs ; and if he is not that, he had better be got rid of 
quickly, for he will be of little use in this game. It must be 
remembered, too, that an early start signifies for the horse very 
much more than for the rider. The process of dressing and 
feeding means much more for the former than the latter. The 
rider can be trusted to look after himself in these things ; the 
horse is dependent on his groom. Who is to insure the latter 
rising early enough on hunting mornings to have these indis- 
pensable preliminaries properly performed at the proper time, 
not huddled hastily over at the last possible moment? Of course, 
it may be said that if an owner of hunters cannot trust his 
groom, he had better give up the business of hunting alto- 
gether. And this, no doubt, is so. But this mode of hunting 
is an exceptional thing, rather out of the common routine of 
the stable ; the possibilities of shirking are much increased, and 
groom's flesh is weak. You may be lucky enough to get one of 
those pearls who take a pride in their work, men of inexorable 
conscience and a high sense of duty, who need no master's eye 
upon them. But you may not ; and at least, this objection 
must be taken in the balance for and against 

Then, there is the return journey. Never, if it can possibly be 
avoided, should you ride your horse straight from the field to the 
nearest station, and have him put just as he is into a box to 
catch the first train home. He should first be roughly dressed 


down, his legs and feet dry-rubbed and bandaged, and his inner 
horse mildly refreshed with a mouthful of gruel. Where there is 
a station there is sure to be some stable accommodation sufficient 
for your purpose ; but it is not so sure that you will find an 
ostler equally sufficient. To make a tired and dirty hunter 
comfortable for his journey home requires no great intelligence 
or labour ; but you will be wise to superintend matters your- 
self, and the judicious suggestion of a pot of beer has sometimes 
a stimulating effect. The country ostlers are a pretty hard- 
worked class, and perhaps, considering all things, can scarcely be 
expected to bestow much additional labour on mere pilgrims 
whom they may never see again. Particularly will you be wise 
not to trust the gruel to the tender mercies of the inn servants. 
See that the flour is put in boiling water and cooled with cold 
water, not stirred up with cold water and then qualified to the 
proper temperature with hot water ' to taste.' A quart of good 
beer, or a wineglass of whisky, after a hard day, may be added 
with advantage. Of course, if you can insure returning to your 
starting point and if you have self-denial enough to leave off 
your fun in time, there should be no difficulty in your arranging 
this, save in very exceptional cases all these obstacles will vanish 
in the presence of your own servant, whom you will do wisely to 
take down with you, without whom, indeed, you will hardly do 
well on these journeys. However learned you may be in theory in 
the care and management of horses, in practice you must in- 
evitably be more or less at fault. You have never been taught 
to groom a horse ; the groom has been. You know what 
things should be done, the groom knows how to do them. 

Again, there is the problem of exercise. How are hunters 
stabled in London to be kept in proper condition ? How are 
they to be exercised in the London streets ? There is Rotten 
Row to be sure, where grooms are allowed to disport themselves 
on their master's nags before 7 A.M. from April to October, 
and before 8 A.M. from October to April. 

Thus, it will be seen, there are many things to be said 
against keeping your hunters in London ; indeed, so many 


that the despairing sportsman may well cry to us in the words 
of Rasselas to Imlac, ' Enough, you have convinced me that 
no human being can ever keep hunters in London.' That we 
do not say. But it is a difficult business ; one with many 
hindrances and limitations. And it is at least well that he who 
proposes to undertake it should do so with his eyes open. A 
season of practice will show him these difficulties far more 
clearly than we can, and probably introduce him to many other 
lesser ones which we have not considered. But though ex- 
perience is certainly the best of all schoolmasters, the fees, as 
some sage has wisely said, are apt to be heavy. 

No particular difficulty seems at first sight to lie in the way of 
the other plan. To select your head-quarters, place your hunters 
in a good stable, and have yourself conveyed down to them by 
train on hunting days, seems a simple plan enough. And so it 
is, provided the stable be under the care of a groom whom you 
have proved worthy of your confidence. But that is the rub. 

If you place your horses at livery, where they will be among 
many others requiring equal care and attention, it is clear you 
must trust largely to the honesty and good faith of the stable 
keeper. Probably you will pay about thirty shillings a week ' 
for each horse, exclusive of 'extras,' which are apt to have 
limits of astounding elasticity. The prices of forage vary, of 
course, but at any season if the best kinds are used it is obvious 
that the margin of profit out of thirty shillings will not be 
large, and the temptation to supply something not quite so 
good as the best, will be. Of course a man who has to cater 
for a large number of horses will be able to get his forage 
cheaper than he who has to buy it in smaller quantities. Whole- 
sale, as we all know, is cheaper than retail. But ' margins ' there 
must be ; if they will not come by nature, they must be 
forced by art. Then there is the grooming. The staff of 
a livery-stable keeper is a hard-worked body of men. Two 
hunters are quite as much as one groom can do justice 

1 Twenty-six shillings a week was charged at the Hunt Hotel, Leighton 
Buzzard, during the season '84-85. EDITOR. 


lo. It is most probable that in a large establishment, of 
the sort we are considering, this proportion will be consider- 
ably exceeded ; or, if kept, will be kept by the employment of 
an inferior class of servant, casual helpers, men of odd jobs, 
who prefer beer to elbow-grease, and regard an inn rather as a 
place to take their ease than to work in. If you place a groom 
of your own in charge, he will live, it is almost certain, in a 
perpetual feud, at any rate in a state of more or less armed 
neutrality, with the keeper of the stable. It must not, of course, 
be forgotten that we are now playing the part of the advocatus 
diaboli. We are putting every possible objection in the strongest 
possible light. But we are very far from saying that to all livery 
stables, or even to the majority, these objections apply either 
wholly or in part. No doubt there are many to be found up 
and down England all that the most exacting could desire ; 
stables where your horses will be as well fed, as well groomed, 
as well exercised, and generally as well cared for, as they would 
be in their own stable at home. But such perfect places are 
not likely to be common ; perfection is common nowhere 
among human institutions, to say nothing of equine. You will 
at least be wise to stand prepared for troubles : and this perpetual 
watching and waiting for troubles, what a trouble is it in itself ! 
To have your own private establishment is, of course, the best 
plan. If you can trust your groom to carry on matters as well 
thirty or fifty miles off as though he were only round the 
corner and liable to visits from the master at any moment, 
there is really nothing to be said against this plan that cannot 
with equal justice be said against the keeping of a hunting 
stable at all. It will of course be cheaper, too, than carrying 
your horses about on the rails with you ; for to the ordinary 
cost of a hunting establishment you will have only to add your 
own travelling expenses. Provided stable and groom are all 
they should be, your horses will last much longer treated thus. 
The strongest constitution and most even temper ever enjoyed 
by a member of the equine race will not long stand the wear 
and tear of those frequent rattlings over the rails, and all their 
inevitable discomforts and mischances. 


There is a third way in which hunting may, after a fashion, 
be enjoyed by a man compelled to a life in London ; he may 
'job.' There are men, of course, in all the great hunting 
centres, in all towns of any importance situate in a hunting 
country, whose business it is to provide the casual sportsman 
with a beast on which to take his pleasure with the hounds. 
It would be unfair to say that many a good day's hunting 
is not enjoyed in this way. The writer's own experience of 
hired hunters is confined to the livery stables of Oxford, and 
many a good run has he enjoyed */ militavit non sine glortd 
with a partner derived from those sources. But the under- 
graduate is a thing apart; he forms a human class by himself, 
and affords no instance to inductive philosophy. The beasts 
on which the ' men ' of the present writer's time used to 
disport themselves so gaily and frequently with the Heythrop, 
the Bicester, the Old Berkshire, or Lord Macclesfield's hounds, 
were often wondrous to look upon, and unlike most recognised 
specimens of horseflesh. To be sure, they could all of them 
jump, and some of them gallop ; but it is doubtful whether any 
but an undergraduate would have trusted himself to their 
conveyance. The wind, however, is always tempered to the 
lamb ; and elsewhere, no doubt, the horse may be hired and 
ridden with no, or few, misgivings. They may be hired for the 
season, the month, or even the day, and as the owner generally 
runs all risks of accidents, and relieves the hirer of all trouble, 
it is clear that this is at least an irresponsible way of hunting. 
Perhaps for a sportsman of limited means, who can allow him- 
self but a day now and again, it is the one that presents least 
hindrance of any. If he be moderately young, of moderately 
light weight, and of moderate confidence, he might certainly 
do worse than trust himself to some stable keepers of good 
repute. The charges vary, of course, with the reputation of the 
stable, the country, and the hounds. For a couple of guineas, 
however, a decent nag may generally be secured for a day's 
gallop in most counties. In the Oxford days, of which we have 
spoken, the charge for the term was four guineas a week. For 


this sum you became practically possessed of a hunter of your 
own ; the stable keeper running all reasonable risks, supplying 
the nag's place if disabled (unless by some glaring fault of your 
own), keeping him, and finding all necessary service. What 
the charges may be now we do not know ; but we have heard 
the stables at Oxford are now filled mainly with bicycles, which 
of course are much less expensive to keep. 

It may be thought that we do not think much of ' hunting 
from London,' nor are keen to recommend it to our friends. 
This is not quite so. It is certainly a laborous form of amuse- 
ment, if pursued with ardour, and one which, we repeat, pre- 
supposes youth, health, and a strong constitution at least, 
without these good gifts we certainly should advise the 
Londoner if possible to content himself with some other form of 
exercise. It is costly also ; but then hunting is in no form a 
cheap amusement, except if enjoyed after the fashions adopted 
by Mr. Sponge and Mr. Facey Romford. Still, if a man sets 
most store on fresh air and a wholesome exercise he will no 
doubt find what he wants in the hunting fields round about 
London, with pleasant company, and sport of a kind ; and he 
T/ill find these things without any undue labour or exertion, 
whether he stable his horses in the country or carry them 
backwards and forwards on the rail. But if his ambition soars 
higher, he must go farther afield. If he wish to gallop and 
jump, has an aversion to plough ; if, in short, it is riding to 
hounds that he understands by the term hunting, he will not 
be satisfied by the suburban delights of his mote modest and 
moderate neighbours. Then comes the real hard work 
hie labor, hoc opus est. It can be done ; but it is no rose-water 
fun. ' Brooksby,' of whose excellent little guide-books we have 
already spoken, argues that it is just as easy to hunt in a good 
country as in a bad. ' A horse,' he says, ' eats no more in a 
good country than in a bad one ; hotel and stabling charges vary 
on quite other principles (we know not what) than those of 
locality ; in no country are you likely to ride a worse horse if 
you can afford a better ; the best saddle is everywhere 


economy ; and you ought to have (why on earth don't you ?) 
good leathers, decent boots, coat and hat, ivherei'er you hunt.' 
All this is, no doubt, very true ; but it does not really touch on 
what seems to us the gist of the argument. A man who could 
afford to keep at one of the great hunting centres a stud suffi- 
cient to enable him really to enjoy their advantages, would 
hardly, we submit, find himself bound by necessity to reside 
for the greater part of the week in London. Were he so 
bound, it would surely be an idle waste both of money, time, 
and ' tissue,' to incur the expense and the labour of keeping 
his horses at such favoured spots for with all due respect to 
' Brooksby,' it is more expensive to hunt from Melton than from 
Brentwood say, or Windsor and suffering the long journeys to 
and fro, for the chance of a gallop once or twice a week. A 
man whose work keeps him mainly in London, and yet has the 
means to afford a few hunters in the country, is probably no 
longer a young man ; and we repeat, the inevitable railway 
journeys must sooner or later tell on the human frame which 
has no longer the capital of youth to draw on, and in all pro- 
bability sooner rather than later. There are exceptions, of 
course, to every rule. There are men who, for some particular 
cause, may find themselves obliged for a season, or part of a 
season, to keep touch of London. They, of course, will take 
their pleasure as best pleases them, and as they can best afford. 
But for the average of men who 'hunt from town' we should 
certainly recommend a moderate ambition. Indeed, if he elect 
to keep his horses in London he will find himself obliged to 
be so content, unless he be prepared for his stables to need 
renewing as fast as Russian 'arrangements.' And we should also 
recommend him, if he keep his horses in the country, always 
when possible to go down to his quarters over-night. The 
additional expense of a bedroom will not be excessive ; he 
can always, save in very exceptional circumstances (and in such 
it would perhaps be best to put the hunting by for a time), get 
his day's work over in time for an evening train ; he will find 
his own comfort greatly increased; and he will last much longer. 




BY man and all living creatures, from the worm in the ground 
to the eagle in the air, the advent of spring is hailed with a 
welcome and joy accorded in a like degree to no other period 
of the year. 

Nature is then waking up from her winter sleep, and, laying 
aside her snow-white robes, is invoking the sun to expedite her 
toilet, that soon, like a May queen, she may step out in a 
mantle of emerald hue, bespangled with gems of purple and 
gold the primrose, the cowslip, and wild hyacinth till her 
beauty becomes a delight to the eye no art can rival. Early 
and late, too, is her coming greeted by a choir of heaven-born 
minstrels, who pour forth their paeans of joy in copse, wood- 
land and field with sweetest melody. But, gladsome and 
sympathetic as all the world appears to be at this hopeful 
period, it may sound strange to say that probably the sole 
created being who supplies an exception to the general joy is 
to be found in man. Yet this is truly the case ; for the lan- 
guage of the often quoted huntsman, when his hounds threw 
up on a bank of violets and failed to carry the scent a yard 
farther, still finds an echo in the breast of many such men under 
like circumstances. 

The experience of every hunting man will remind him that 
oft on a genial April day, when the lark has been carolling 
overhead, and the wood anemone, the daisy, and the primrose 
were weaving at his feet a mosaic carpet, far more beautiful in 
design than ever graced a Pontiffs hall, he has heard growls of 


discontent loudly expressed around him, the flowers have been 
eyed with a cold welcome, and the lark's glorious song greeted 
with anything but pleasure. 

It was just at this season of the year, not very long ago, 
that a group of well-mounted horsemen were posted at a point 
commanding a broad green avenue that stretched away far as 
the eye could see into the depths of Whittlebury Forest. They 
were listening with evident impatience to a pack of hounds 
which, throwing their tongues intermittently, were unable to 
force their fox beyond the 'quarter' in which they had found 
him an hour before. In fact, there was no scent ; and some of 
the older hands, with good reason suspecting that a vixen was 
afoot, were anxious to whip off the hounds and draw for a fresh 
fox. Favoured by Nature the little mother dodged about, 
leaving scarcely a whiff of scent behind her ; the hounds 
dropped their noses in vain ; and the field, now utterly discon- 
certed, came to a general verdict that ' those spring flowers ' 
were the chief cause of all the misery. 

'It's all up with hunting, at least for this season,' exclaims 
a young squire, somewhat impatiently ; ' but what on earth is 
a fellow to do for the next six months of his life ? I hate town, 
and I'm sick to death at sea; and as for the "contemplative 
art " river angling I have neither skill nor patience for that 
craft, of all others the most solitary and uncertain. So, without 
occupation, and never a hound's note to cheer me, I shall be 
bored to death before the first of next November.' 

* Nay, my boy ; I don't see why we should lose you on 
that account,' answered an old friend, who happened to be a 
Devonshire man much given to otter hunting. ' Come down 
to us, and if Collier and Cherriton don't keep you alive, and 
happy too, with a feast of sport throughout the summer, I shall 
be surprised indeed. Otters are to be found in every Devon- 
shire stream ; and with no animal of chase is the instinct and 
work of hounds so well displayed as in the pursuit of the otter. 
Why, we have men with us who find hunting so conducive to 
their health that, with staghounds, foxhounds, harriers and 


otter hounds, they contrive to enjoy it all the year round ; and 
you could well do the same.' 

' Thank you so much ; that's quite a new light to me, and 
is exactly what I should like to do ; but give me a word of 
advice as to the best quarters for otter hunting, and I'll lose no 
time in paying a visit to your favoured land.' 

' That I'll do with much pleasure,' responded the old otter 
hunter, delighted to help a youngster who, from his inborn 
love of hounds, he felt sure would enter well at his own 
favourite sport. 'Tiverton for otter hunting should be your 
first halting place ; and thence you could easily reach the early 
and best meets of two good packs those of Mr. Collier and 
Mr. Cherriton who would not only give you a hearty welcome, 
but, if I mistake not, would very soon ask you to " look below " 
and lend a watchful eye to the business of the chase. But I 
would not recommend you to fix on any settled quarters for 
more than a week or so at a time ; you should lead a kind of 
nomad life, passing on from one district to another according 
to the meets of the various packs hunting the Western counties 
Thus, weather permitting, you might safely reckon on getting 
three days a week, from May i to the end of August ; then, to 
complete the cycle, you should migrate to Porlock and top up 
the year by enjoying a gallop with the staghounds over the wild 
Exmoor. But hark ! the hounds are running hard ; that must 
be a dog fox, and we shall lose perhaps the run of the season 
if we stand gossiping here any longer.' So saying, the old 
otter hunter dashed off into a narrow ride, making a signal to 
his young friend that he'd let him know more about it at an 
early date. 

He was as good as his word. The younger sportsman was 
entered to other hunting and followed many packs of famous 
otter hounds. At length he became so devoted to the sport 
that, having ample means to do so, he determined to start a 
pack of his own, and hunt on the south coast of Devon a 
number of maiden streams abounding in trout and of course 
visited by otters, but as yet unstained by a single hound. 


With this object in view he appealed once more to his old 
friend, who, from a journal he had carefully kept, noting not 
only his own sport but that of several well-known packs, now 
cordially gave him the result of his long experience embodied 
in the following paper : 

That you are going to start a pack and hunt the wild otter 
with your own hounds is a bit of news that interests me greatly, 
and you are quite welcome to the benefit, as you are pleased 
to term it, of any counsel I can give you on so engrossing a 
subject. But pray bear in mind that this paper will simply be 
a kind of didactic essay written to instruct rather than amuse 
you ; and moreover, that you are by no means bound to adopt 
your mentor's views when, as his judgment may often be in error, 
to differ from it would be the wiser course. 

No man can hunt a wild animal with success if he is not 
fairly acquainted with that animal's habits and mode of life ; 
he must at least know where to look for him, how to find him, 
and how to cope with him, when found, in the many artifices 
he will adopt to elude pursuit. Now, the ways of an otter I 
believe to be the least known and the most inscrutable of all 
our wild animals ; so much so that its very existence is widely 
doubted in districts where otter hounds are never seen ; and 
yet every river in the land pays tribute in turn to this night- 
wandering marauder. Many too, who ought to know better, 
think the otter to be well nigh exterminated, and that its fate 
will soon be that of the beaver and yellow-breasted marten, 
now no longer seen amongst us. But there is no ground what- 
ever for this belief ; otters, as I will presently show by testimony 
of unquestionable authority, are still as plentiful on our waters 
in the present day as they were fifty or sixty years ago. 

When I first took to keeping a pack of my own I hunted a 
number of streams on which the note of an otter hound had 
never been heard. They were a scratch lot, consisting of big 
old-fashioned, blue-mottled harriers and a single foxhound, 
called Midnight, by John Russell's famous Mercury out of his 



Rally, the only hound amongst them that would touch the 
scent. But she was a jewel, and with her pleasant tongue soon 
won several of the others to join her on the trail. Yet not till 
:he wild animal was actually found and killed before them 
would the farmers believe that it was the scent of an otter the 
hounds were so enjoying. ' There be scores of rats hereabouts, 
but us ha' never seed no sich varmint as an otter in our 
bottoms,' was the constant remark expressed on the veracity 
of dear old Midnight's tongue ; a hound that never told a lie 
in her life. One day she carried a trail through a farmer's 
cabbage garden and into a drain under his very house, when 
a fine dog-otter, soon killed, opened his eyes and at once 
satisfied his doubts. 

I mention these circumstances to show how little is known 
to men in general of the habits and even the existence of this 
wild animal, which not only lives and thrives among us, but 
constantly makes his bed on the dry ledges of our house drains, 
fellow-lodgers with ourselves and sharing the shelter the same 
building affords to both. 

Human nature, we know, is little inclined to believe what 
it cannot see or realise ; and doubtless the otter and his habits 
are mysteries to most men, inasmuch as he is strictly a nocturnal 
animal, never quitting his stronghold, except by expulsion, till 
after sunset, and then only to seek his prey and disappear again 
with the first blush of morn. Then, at night, if intruded on by 
man, the dark colour of his hide conceals him from view, while 
at the same time so oil-like and gentle are his movements in 
the water that it would require a fine ear indeed to note his 
whereabouts. Not once that I can remember do we see the 
otter referred to in the works of our great fabulists, from ^Esop 
and Phsedrus down to La Fontaine and Gay ; and yet, from 
the lion to the mouse, all the beasts known to them have their 
characteristics described with the utmost fidelity. This surely 
is strong, if indirect, evidence that they knew nothing of the 
otter and his habits. But I will go farther ; our keenest 
hunters, men who have pursued the animal with hound and 


horn and studied his ways from youth to old age, are prone to 
confess that much pertaining to the beast is beyond their ken 
and utterly inscrutable. 

Still, such men by patient and watchful observation have 
learned enough to enable them not only to find and hunt the 
animal successfully, but to enjoy themselves and show their 
friends a sport the wildness and delight of which no pen of 
mine can describe. 

The otter has no local attachment, like the badger, the fox, 
or the hare ; but, as an experienced otter hunter once told me, 
he ( believed that, except in the case of a female and her young 
ones, an otter never occupied the same bed two days following,' 
meaning that he is always on the tramp, seeking fresh pools 
and new streams from night to night. However true this may 
be, it is nevertheless a fact that on quitting one lodging for 
another, like old travellers, they have always a house of call 
in their eye a safe well-known retreat on which they are 
bent for rest and security at the far end of their night's 

An otter, when bolted from his sleeping quarters, will make 
at once for the nearest stronghold, and so on from one to 
another, till he has shown his observant pursuers all the drains 
and holts he is wont to frequent on that river. Consequently, 
when a fresh trail is struck on a stream well known to the 
hunter, he can generally tell where his hounds should come to 
a mark and where, when found, the otter will go for his next 
retreat. This knowledge is of the utmost advantage, as it saves 
much time and labour both in finding and pursuing the animal ; 
whereas, on the other hand, if the river drawn be a new and 
unknown one, the uncertainty of a find and a kill is greatly 
increased. There may be a hot steaming drag, indicating the 
recent presence of the wild beast beyond a doubt, but the 
mouth of his haunt may be a foot or two under water, and if 
so, hounds and terriers will pass unwittingly over it, and the 
otter will sleep on undiscovered in his dry and cavernous holt. 
Scores of otters escape detection in this way. 


One special instance occurs to my recollection : My hounds 
had met on several occasions at Game's Mill, a short distance 
above the tidal point of the Harberton river, and so invariably 
did they hit on a fine fresh drag that, long before they reached 
Ihe mill, neither whip nor rate would restrain them from break- 
ing away in full cry up the beautiful meadows of the vale 
above. But day after day there was no find ; every hole and 
corner that would hold a rat was drawn, every open drain 
searched, till at length the opinion 
prevailed that the otter, after fish- 
ing the upper stream, had gone 
back to the salt-water cliffs below, 
an impregnable fastness at all 

A mere accident, how- 
ever, proved the contrary. 
The hounds one day were 
enjoying the drag on this 

The escape of the otter. 

water with the usual fruitless result, when a sharp thunder- 
storm breaking overhead drove us for shelter into an old barn 
crammed with wooden lumber that had long been stored within 
its dry cob walls. Pulling our crusts out we had scarcely half 
devoured them, when a restless terrier, called Fox, doubled his 
tongue wildly, far down under the blocks of timber on which 
we were seated. 


'That's a cat for certain,' said my old friend, the Rev. 
Harry Fortescue, ' that terrier is always at riot.' 

But in another instant Rattler threw his tongue like a tenor 
bell announcing a find, and all knew at once the long-looked-for 
otter was at length found. To the river we then rushed, not 
fifty yards from the barn, and great was our amazement to 
view not one but a brace of fine otters glide rapidly from under 
a broad stone slab that bridged a dyke running into the stream 
below. But the terriers Prince and Fox, usually on the back 
of a bolting otter, did not appear ; they had been stopped by 
the dyke water that covered to the depth of a foot the mouth 
of the drain leading up to the old barn. Here then was the 
mystery solved ; countless times had the hounds carried the 
drag up and down that dyke, but the submerged mouth of the 
drain baffled all their inquiries. 

The result is soon told; the otters, male and female of 
course, on reaching the main stream parted at once. The dog 
turned downwards and made a desperate effort to gain the 
cliffs, but was pulled down while crossing a shallow only a 
short distance from his stronghold. The other, my lady, with 
a couple of hounds in close pursuit succeeded in gaining a long 
deep mill pond in the meadows above, where, on following up, 
we found Tyrant and Wakefield hard at her and making the 
valley ring with their music, as they worked her to and fro 
from one hover to another. At length she got under a bridge 
which was flooded up to its very keystone, the pond being a 
bumper at the time ; and here taking rest and recovering her 
wind she might ultimately have beaten us, for the swimming 
and marking being incessant it was beginning to tell upon the 
hounds and terriers, not one of which could get under the 
archway and so bolt her. 

Happily, however, the jolly miller who had joined the chase 
came to the rescue ; he ran home for a crowbar, lifted a flood- 
hatch, and in half an hour so lowered the water that the terriers 
went in and thenceforth never gave her a moment's rest. The 
otter now landed, and taking to the dense scrub on the comb 


of the hedges, just as a polecat is wont to do, she showed us 
some of the prettiest sport I ever saw. The terriers of course 
were alone able to follow her ; but the hounds on each side of 
the fence were watching the fray with intense excitement, 
throwing their tongues frantically, as if to encourage their little 
mates, and expecting at every instant to grab their prey. At 
length down they came, terriers and otter all locked together, 
the mass rolling over and over into the midst of the hounds ; 
so ended this lively chase. 

We always knew afterwards where to find on that river, the 
moment a drag was struck on the lower waters. 

The otter is believed by many to be amphibious, but suffice 
it to say that neither it nor any other known animal is so 
constituted. With as much reason might the pearl diver be 
considered capable of sustaining life equally well in both 
elements air and water as the otter. The diver descends 
into the depths of the latter to earn his livelihood, and the 
otter does it for the same purpose ; yet one minute's duration 
in that element beyond the power of the lungs would be fatal 
to both. It is also the refuge of the wild animal; but only 
then does he seek it when he is forcibly driven from his dry 
bed, and hopes by the interposition of the watery barrier between 
him and his enemy to save his life. 

Some forty years ago, while hunting with Mr. Bulteel's 
hounds, I managed to catch a young otter alive : he was not 
half-grown, and soon became so tame that he would come to a 
call, jump upon my lap, and eat food out of my hands. Not 
far from the horse box in which he lived there was a small 
pond of clear water ; and to it, for he followed me like a dog, 
I was wont to take him when I gave him his food. Into the 
pond, however, nothing would tempt him to go, if, on galloping 
round the bank and winding the water, he discovered by his 
nose there was no fish in it. He would then come up to me, 
and watching the bowl of fish I held in my hand, would look 
into my face, as much as to say, ' Why should I wet my jacket 
for nothing? my breakfast is in that bowl.' While feeding he 


often sat up like a monkey, holding the fish in his fore paws 
and invariably eating it from head to tail. In a wild state, 
however, the otter eats an eel only from the anal aperture 
downwards to the tail ; whereas, like a true epicure, he prefers 
the shoulders and upper end of the lordly salmon. 

From the extreme acuteness of my tame otter's nose I dis- 
covered why it was that, after a stream had been drawn and its 
hovers tainted by hounds, it was useless drawing that same 
water in less than a month or five weeks afterwards ; for unless 
a flood had washed away all traces of the intruders, a blank on 
it was a dead certainty. Hence, a wide range of rivers largely 
increases the chance of finding, as the success attending the 
nomad system practised by some of our most famous otter 
hunters amply demonstrates. 

That system may be briefly described as follows : Some 
fifty years ago Mr. Lomax, a noted hunter, set the fashion of 
travelling with his otter hounds from one county to another. 
Hanging out at wayside inns and drawing fresh streams from 
day to day, he showed marvellous sport, as he crossed them 
in his course between Lancashire and the western counties. 
The late Mr. Waldron Hill did the same, but on a somewhat 
grander scale ; for, travelling with a van, and not content with 
hunting over five or six counties in Scotland, he would take 
ship and visit the Emerald Isle, the natives of which went 
almost wild with delight at the sport he was wont to show on 
their purling streams. Then, at the present time, we have the 
Hon. Geoffrey Hill adopting the same plan, and killing on an 
average at least eighteen brace of otters in a season. Nor can 
I conceive a greater treat than to go a-gipsying with him 
throughout the summer, now sharing the wildest of all English 
sports in the best of company ; or, if the game be not afoot, 
searching for it amid the most charming scenery of mountain 
and vale, woodland and water. But more anon of his rivers, 
hounds and sport. 

In the west also, of late, the two famous packs of Mr. 
Cherriton and Mr. Collier have sought fresh streams, and 


travelled into counties far distant from their own kennels ; 
Wiltshire, Dorset, and Hants have been visited in turn, and 
many a fine day's sport has been witnessed for the first time 
in those counties. Consequently, a far greater number of 
otters have been annually killed by those packs, the score 
of each amounting to no less than twelve to fourteen brace a 

The institution of railways throughout the land has probably 
done more to promote the sport of otter hunting than any other 
cause ; but far distant be the day when this advantage shall lead 
to the disappearance of the otter from these islands. Its extinc- 
tion, like that of the wolf, the boar, and the beaver, would be a 
national calamity ; but such a result, I rejoice to think, is most 
improbable. The fox could be exterminated, but the otter, by 
man's power, never. 

The following letter from Mr. Collier, of Culmstock, con- 
veying as it does the opinion of an observant and thoroughly 
practical man, is most interesting in reference to the animal he 
has hunted so long and so successfully. He says : 

You ask me to name the best head-quarters for hunting with 
my otter hounds, and I do not think a stranger could do better than 
fix upon Taunton. That town being situated on the main line 
most if not all my meets, extending from the Bristol to the English 
Channel, can be reached from it on the evening previous to the 
meeting day ; that is, either by the main or branch lines diverging 
therefrom. The rivers usually hunted by my hounds are, as you 
well know, the Exe, Barle, Tone, Culm, Otter, Yarty, Axe, He, 
Char, and those near Dunster and Watchet on the Severn 

Since 1879 I have killed over 144 otters ; thus averaging [2 brace 
per season. In 1880 I killed 15 brace; and that was the best 
season I ever had. This past year (1884) I have brought to hand 
20 full-grown otters ; but, strange to say, have neither killed a cub 
nor spurred one on all my rivers ; nor have I killed a bitch-otter in 
milk. A similar occurrence, to the best of my recollection, I never 
before experienced, although I have now hunted these rivers for 
forty-nine seasons. I trust it does not augur ill for the future 


I do not think otters are decreasing in numbers, neither do I 
consider them more plentiful than they were forty years ago. In 
those days we reckoned 10 otters a good season ; but the reason 
we average more now is due to the railway, a help we did not get 
in former years, the hounds having been often compelled to do 
long, weary road-work before they reached the river side. For 
instance, I have left Hillmoor at 2 o'clock in the morning, jogged 
on to Exe Bridge, 16 miles, left my pony there, drawn up the Barle 
and killed my otter on the way. Then a crust of bread and Cheese 
at Withypool and at it again, over Winsford Hill to the Exe ; 
found and killed another otter, picked up my pony at Exe Bridge, 
and back again with tired hounds the same night to Hillmoor ; 
thus covering in the day at least sixty miles. Hard work, you will 
say, but sweetened by sport. 

1 can remember on one such occasion, when Mr. Tom Carew 
was Master of the Tiverton Hounds and old John Beale the hunts- 
man, that I met their party near Tarr-Steps on the Barle ; they 
had killed a brace of foxes, I a brace of otters, and as we ap- 
proached on either side of the river we saluted each other with a 
couple of joyous who-whoops, blew our horns, and turned home- 
wards. Of course my hounds could not do another day's work for 
a week or more. But now, with the advantage of the railway, I 
can hunt three or four days a week, so am able to make a larger 

The time for otter hunting extends over a period of five 
months only ; that is, from the middle of April to the middle 
of September ; but as frost stops foxhounds, so do floods stop 
otter hounds, and it is no uncommon event in a wet season to 
find rivers quite unhuntable for weeks together ; so the short 
measure of time allotted to the sport is thus seriously curtailed. 
Nevertheless such hindrances in no wise affect the working 
powers of the otter hound, for it matters little how lusty he may 
become provided care is taken to keep his feet right by regular 
exercise. And this at all times is an important point, for 
unless the balls of the feet are protected by the horny substance 
which only road exercise will give, the water soon soddens and 
renders them painfully tender ; and then, if the hound is not 
crippled, he becomes at least slack in his work, and does not 


do it with half the energy that otherwise might be expected 
from him. 

But to return to the otter and his ways. We have searched 
the best authors on Natural History in vain with a view to 
obtain some light on the dark subject of the otter's family 
affairs ; how long the period of gestation, when the young are 
brought forth, and how many they are in number. The first 
point is ignored altogether, the early spring is guessed at for 
the second, and the number of the young is variously given as 
three, four and five. This last is doubtless correct, the larger 
or smaller number depending on the age of the parent dam. 
But as to the second point I am inclined to believe that the 
period of parturition is not exactly limited to early spring, like 
that of the fox, but extends also occasionally to the summer 
months, inasmuch as cubs of various sizes are met with at 
the same time of the year. Mr. Collier, with his half-century's 
experience, writes thus : 

I think it is impossible to say when otters breed, as I have 
killed cubs of all sizes in the same month. Some thirty-five years 
ago, about the latter end of May, we found a bitch-otter near 
Ilminster, and while hunting her, the poor little mother threw her 
cubs, one of which no bigger than a mouse I kept for years in a 
bottle of spirit. I regret to say that last year, 1883, on our own 
river, the Culm, I had the great misfortune accidentally to kill four 
cubs, about four or five pounds each ; it was then the middle of 
September. Only once in my life have I ever seen five in one 
litter ; this was on the Yarty, and as bad luck would have it they 
were lying in a dry hollow bank near some shallow water, so the 
hounds and terriers killed them all instantly. I am inclined to 
think three to be the average number. 

The Hon. Geoffrey R. C. Hill, who has hunted the otter 
from his boyhood to the present day, not only corroborates 
Mr. Collier's views, but goes so far as to say that otters, like 
dogs, breed at all seasons of the year. He writes thus : 

I do not think any man living can tell for certain the exact 
period of the year when otters breed. My own belief is that they 


breed at all times of the year; for, during the same otter hunting 
season I have myself killed them nearly full grown, then others 
about fit to take care of themselves, then cubs of a still smaller 
size ; again, some just born, while, sad to relate, I have slain even 
the pregnant mother with the cubs yet unborn in her. I am thus 
led to conclude that their season for breeding extends all round the 

The average number of a litter is, I believe, about three or 
four ; but I fancy they do not rear more than three. Once, and 
once only, have I seen six young ones, but that was quite an ex- 
ceptional case ; those I took out of a drain myself and tried to rear 
them, but eventually they all died. 

Still, notwithstanding the opinion of those two experienced 
hunters, I lean to the belief that reproduction takes place only 
in the spring and early summer months ; that the cubs of 
four or five pounds each, killed by Mr. Collier in the middle 
of September, were born early in that year, and that those of 
eight or ten pounds' weight, ' fit to take care of themselves,' 
were dropped in the previous spring, and were, when killed, in 
their second year. I infer this from the very slow growth of 
the young otter I kept for so many months. He was about 
two pounds only when I caught him in May, and although well 
fed daily and in perfect health weighed no more than four or 
five pounds in the late autumn, that is, in October, when he 
was accidentally killed. Had he continued to live and thrive 
through the winter, I believe he would have been an eight or 
ten pounder in the following spring and summer. 

The chase of the otter, owing to floods and cold water, is 
necessarily suspended for seven months in the year ; and how- 
ever desirable it might be in the interest of that sport to observe 
a close time during the infancy of the cubs, the hunting season 
then would be so abridged by it that few men would be willing 
to keep hounds expressly for that purpose only for so short a 
time. Bitch-otters yielding milk, or indicating the very recent 
dependence of the young upon them, are not unfrequently 
killed even in the summer months, and then of course the 
whole litter is destroyed ; while many infant cubs, far more 


Lhan the eye sees, are chopped by the terriers at ground before 
they are able to quit their nurseries. So, the killing of baby 
cubs must needs go on, though a grief and pain to all con- 
cerned in their untimely destruction. 

With all packs of otter hounds the weekly continuance of 
the sport, as well as the number annually killed, depends much 
on the state of the rivers. When they are flooded, the hounds 
would be far better on their benches than tainting the banks 
and haunts of the wild animal at a time when they have no 
chance of killing him ; but when low, the hounds have then 
every advantage. Under the latter circumstances Mr. Geoffrey 
Hill killed sixty-two otters in one season, the best he ever had. 

He began hunting the otter with his own pack in 1869,' but 
kept no record of his sport till 1870, from which date to the 
year 1884, that is, in fifteen seasons, he has killed the large 
number of 544 otters, thus averaging thirty-six a year and four 
over. Yet, notwithstanding this heavy score, he says, ' Otters 
are not decreasing in any way on my rivers ; they are better 
preserved than they used to be, for people are beginning to find 
out that they kill and keep down the coarse fish and eels 
(which live upon the spawn and fry of the better sort). Besides, 
otter hunting is more appreciated than in former days, and the 
wild animal is now kept to show sport. Not that an occasional 
otter does not fall a victim to the farm labourers and their dogs, 
when, as he is wont to do, he travels up a small brook and is 
caught before he can reach the safe drain for which he is 
making. It is strange but true, that when a big river gets low and 
there is no really strong holt upon it, he will quit that river and 
go up the smallest stream, to gain if he can a more secure retreat.' 

Also, he is apt to go a-frogging even on the rills of a water 
meadow ; but when indulging in that pastime and luxury (for 
no Frenchman loves a frog better than he does), he is sure to 
have a stronghold within easy reach. The bitch -otter, when 
followed by her young, is especially given to frog hunting, and 

1 His elder brother, now Lord Hill, kept them for many years previously. 


thus probably instructs them how partially to support them- 
selves before they are able to stem the currents in which their 
slippery and more active prey can alone be found. 

At the same time small brooks, often high up in mountain- 
ous districts, are almost invariably chosen by the dam as the 
quarters best suited for laying up her young. For there, at the 
very source of perhaps our biggest rivers, Nature has provided 
her with an ample supply of the daintiest food the fry of trout 
and salmon ; and there, the currents being gentle compared 
with the force of those below, the young can be better trusted 
to learn their first lessons in the work of life, namely, self- 
maintenance and self-preservation. 

For the following most interesting communication on the 
natural history of the otter I am indebted to my friend, the late 
Mr. Trelawny of Coldrenick, and I have his authority for stating 
that Mr. Shaw, who vouches for his labourer's veracity, is a 
gentleman worthy of all credit. The letter written by Mr. Shaw 
from Trelowarren, the seat of Sir Richard R. Vyvyan, Bart., 
was addressed to Mr. Trelawny ; it runs thus : 

Knowing you to be a great otter hunter in that dull time of the 
year which poets praise so much, I trust the following account 
which has just been related to me may not prove uninteresting to 
you ; and I believe I can thoroughly vouch for its authenticity, 
having questioned the narrator very minutely about it. He (one 
of our labourers here), on his way to his work on Wednesday last, 
soon after five o'clock in the morning, saw a quantity of animals 
coming along the road towards him, and stood very quietly by the 
hedge till they came broadside of him. He then perceived they 
were otters, four old ones, 1 and he thinks very little less, if at all, 
than twenty young ones. He had nothing in his hand at the time, 
but, as quickly as he could, he got a stick out of the hedge and struck 
one of the young ones and ultimately killed it. The moment the 
young one began to squeak, all four old ones came back and stood 
grizzling, as he terms it, against him, till all the young ones had 
escaped through the hedge, and then went quietly off themselves, 
he being afraid to attack them. I have just weighed the one 

1 The four old ones were doubtless four females ; for the dog-otter is rarely 
if ever, found in company with the dam and her young ones. 


which he killed, and its weight is 5J- Ibs., which will give you some 
idea of its size ; in fact, in appearance it is nearly as large as a 
common-size cat. Having hunted otters much myself in former 
years, I was aware of their being great travellers, but I did not 
know before that they journeyed in such patriarchal -fashion, four 
families of course being here congregated together. I feel assured 
you will not consider the time spent in perusing this epistle thrown 
away, as I think it a very interesting piece of natural history about 
an animal whose habits are not very definitely known. Mr. Shaw 
in a second letter adds I have since thought on the probable 
reason for the migration of so many otters at once, and can only 
come to this conclusion that they were bred on one of our fresh- 
water rivers which are mere brooks ; and as the young ones 
increased in strength and appetite, the supply of fish was not 
sufficient for them, and they were therefore making their way to 
the Helford river (the apparent point) which is an arm of the sea. 

A stranger, wishing to hunt with the Hon. Geoffrey Hill's 
hounds on the Wye, the Irfon, the Ithon, the Llynfi, Towy, 
and the Eddw, could not do better than make Builth his head- 
quarters. For the Usk, he should go to Brecon ; for the Teifi 
and its tributaries, to Newcastle Emlyn ; for the Vale of Clwyd, 
St. Asaph ; for Pembrokeshire, Haverfordwest ; and lastly, for 
North Shropshire, Market Drayton. It may be added that 
Mr. Hill considers the Wye and its tributaries, the Usk, the 
Teifi, the Towy, and the Clwyd as his favourite and best rivers. 

Artificial drains both on rivers and large fish ponds have 
proved to be a great success, when constructed with due refer- 
ence to the wild and shy habits of the otter's life. They arrest 
him in his travelling propensities, it may be only for a night or 
so ; but, when once such drains have been used, they are sure 
to become known to ' all the wandering train ; ' and conse- 
quently may be reckoned upon as a safe find when hounds 
hit upon a fresh drag in their neighbourhood. But if made, 
their whereabouts should be kept secret, or be well looked 
after ; otherwise the trapper might turn them to dangerous 

A drain intended for the lodgment of otters, if constructed 


on a river, should be made with rough stones, and have its 
entrance, about eight inches square, at least a foot below the 
ordinary height of the water ; then it should slant upwards till 
it reach ground high and dry above the highest level of a 
winter's flood. At that point a cross-flue, intersecting the 
other, and in shape like the capital letter T, should be formed 
in the dry soil ; but it should be of larger dimensions than the 
entrance passage say a foot in width so that an otter, or 
a couple of otters, might find room in it to curl up and go to 
sleep. This chamber, covered with stone slabs and a thick 
layer of earth, should then be turfed over, so as thoroughly to 
exclude light and air from above. 

When a drag in its vicinity leads to the belief that a lodger 
is within, a few hearty blows with an otter pole on the turf 
overhead will probably drive him at once to quit the tenement ; 
but failing thiit, a crowbar let down and rattled on the cover 
stones would be sure to have the desired effect ; and if so, a 
chain of pearl-like bubbles would at once rise to tell the tale. 
On no account should the ground be opened and a terrier 
allowed to enter the drain ; an otter so bolted, if not killed, 
would never more trust himself in it ; nay, the taint of the 
terrier would be so strong and lasting that I doubt much (for 
they tell each other) if any otters would ever lodge there again. 
A wonderful network of nerves permeates the otter's nose, and 
gives that organ a power possessed by few other animals a 
boon Nature has bestowed upon him, not only to enable him 
to hunt up his prey, but to protect his life. 

If an artificial drain on a fish pond be contemplated, no 
man could do better than follow the plan adopted by Mr. John 
Bulteel of Pamflete, whose experience of otter life, derived 
partly therefrom, is so interesting that it may well encourage 
others to go and do likewise. The pond itself is an artificial 
one, formed by intercepting a brook that aforetime was wont 
to chatter through a dark dingle, until it joined the river Erme 
about a mile from the sea. The banks on either side are 
fringed by a dense growth of evergreens, but especially by 


rhododendrons, which flourish here in the wildest luxuriance ; 
while the Scotch fir and the Austrian pine overhanging the lake 
cast a deep and sombre shade over it and the whole valley. 
To render this quiet and secluded spot a still more tempting 
retreat for the otter, the pond is well stocked with trout and 
eels ; while it is only separated by a narrow sand bank from 
the Erme, a tidal river famous for its truff, salmon, mullet, 
flounders, and other dainty fish fresh from the sea. 

Here then, if anywhere, are quarters suited in every way 
to the shy and wild habits of otter life ; and here it is that 
Mr. Bulteel has constructed the drain which, as might be 
expected, did not long remain untenanted, and has ever since 
proved a favourite lodging house to the come-and-go visitors 
frequenting that pond. The drain differs in some respects 
from the one described above, inasmuch as it has three distinct 
entrances, one below and two above the surface of the water ; 
while three or four cross -flues s running under a dark rhodo- 
dendron bed, are capacious enough to accommodate a whole 
family party seeking a dry and peaceful retreat. Swans, 
pheasants, moorhens and kingfishers are their nearest neigh- 
bours, and the only sounds that could possibly disturb their 
slumbers would be those of the wild sea waves breaking on the 
rocks so near their home. 

Mr. Bulteel, who is not only a good sportsman but an en- 
thusiastic naturalist, has been favoured in no ordinary degree 
with peeps into the private life of his otter guests ; and so 
intensely interesting were some of the scenes he witnessed that 
although they have already appeared in print, I will again 
venture to quote them in his own graphic words : 

Yesterday (gth March) in the deluge we had, I thought it likely 
the otter might be moving about, so I sat down in the corner by 
the edge of the pond hidden by bushes, and waited. In about ten 
minutes I saw the otter emerge from the opposite bank about 
fifty yards from the rail on the sand and begin to fish. For full 
twenty minutes she kept on diving and rising to the surface, her 
attitudes most graceful, when suddenly she came up with a bright 



white fish. She then without diving swam oft" with her head just 
above water, and with wonderful rapidity, to the bank opposite, 
dived, and then I heard the most extraordinary sort of whistling, I 
suppose the young quarrelling for their prey. In three minutes 
she came out and again repeated the same fishing, again caught a 
fish, again went to the young ones. She then came out a third 
time, but as I was pretty well soaked I moved on, and from that 
moment all was quiet. 

The swans have got accustomed to them, for although the 
otter came up several times within ten yards of them, the old drake 

Otters at play. 

only set up his hackles and did not seem to mind her much. 
Now of course I know where the young ones are laid up, and 
I shall see, I daresay, very many interesting episodes of otter 
life. I think you ought to come over some day and enjoy the 

About a week after that tempestuous day, I was again favoured 
with a grand sight, and I only wish you had been present to witness 
it with me. I was sitting at the farther end of the pond from where 
the young were laid up, when suddenly I saw two large otters, as 
I thought, fighting. The tussle first began at the very place where 
a week before I had seen the bitch-otter feed her young. The 



otters when under water at length loosed their hold, and one rose 
to the surface two or three seconds before the other, but as soon 
as the head of the latter appeared they went at each other again 
con amore. I am inclined to think, from what I have since 
observed (more of which as I go on), that it might have been a 
game of play and romps ; but certainly they went at it hammer 
and tongs until the bitch had driven the intruder half across the 
pond. He then (the animal I suppose to be the stranger; landed, 
set the moorhens and even the cock pheasants all on the qui vt've, 
and finally I lost sight of him in the dark. 

The next evening a neighbour of mine paid me a visit, and as 
he expressed a strong inclination to share this sight with me, I 
wrapped him up in a great-coat, put him on a camp stool, and with 
a good pair of opera glasses we bided our time. Suddenly, just 
opposite to me and within twenty yards of where I sat, out came 
the bitch-otter, fished for ten minutes, caught a white trout, and 
swam with it to her young. I looked intently but in vain at the 
farther end of the pond, whence she had emerged on previous 
occasions ; the careful mother had, however, owing, it struck 
me, to the fight of the night before, shifted her young to other 
quarters. I can scarcely describe my friend's delight at witnessing 
this novel and genuine bit of wild sport. 

A few days after this visit I let out the pond, and during that 
time saw nothing of the otters ; I observed, however, that they 
still used my drain. On Wednesday last, April 5, the waters 
having risen to a respectable height, I went out for a watch, and 
at 7.20 glided forth from the drain the finest dog-otter I ever saw. 
He was alone and evidently on the look-out for company, not 
fishing, but cruising about restlessly all over the place. Once he 
actually lifted himself on his hind legs until his middle was fairly 
out of the water, the wildest-looking beast I ever saw; it then 
became dark and I saw him no more. 

Again on Good Friday evening when all was quiet around, I 
took up my position near the pond, and at 7.20 I viewed a brace 
of old otters emerge from the middle outlet of my drain, and fish 
industriously for half an hour. During this performance they con- 
stantly returned to the drain. I have marked the place with a 

On Saturday I hunted at Sheepstor Tor, came home late, so 
gave my friends, or rather myself, an evening's rest. The next 
night, however, being Easter Sunday, I saw at ten minutes before 
seven a sight I would not have missed for gold ; a brace of otters, 


evidently male and female, having in broad daylight the same sort 
of turn-up I had witnessed a fortnight ago, when they were located 
on the other side. They tumbled over each other, lost sight of 
each other, and then had what we call in Devon ' a real scat ' at 
one another. Suddenly one landed and looked out for the other, 
then up he came again, and both flew into the pond locked 
together. Now I must say all this appeared to me to be a friendly 
business. I watched them till a quarter to eight, and latterly they 
worked independently, returning to the drain every now and then, 
but I saw no fish in their mouths. 

I shall be able to see in a few days whether they are not, as I 
strongly suspect, a brace of otters that have no communication 
with the party opposite ; but, if one happens to be the old bitch- 
otter I first saw with her family, all I can say is we shall yet 
witness some pretty sights when she brings out her young and 
teaches them to fish for themselves. 

On that river Erme with the first freshet in June the white- 
fish or truff came up in large shoals, to rest for some time in deep 
pools at the highest point touched by the tidal wave. One of 
these pools is designated par excellence the otter pool, for as 
surely as the truff appear, so surely do the strong hovers hold 
an otter, nay, sometimes a brace or more, in attendance on the 
prey so bountifully supplied to them. The arrival of the truff, a 
fish identical with the sewin, was in former days made the happy 
signal for the first meet at Sequer's Bridge, which meant the otter 
pool; and great was the sport usually shown on such occasions by 
Mr. B ulteel's or Mr. Trelawny's hounds ; especially when Waterloo, 
Wanderer, and Whirligig were the stars of the pack. Then, as 
the ladies formed no small portion of the hunting field, the day 
was not unfrequently wound up with an impromptu feast and 
a dance afterwards on the old oak boards of the Flete hall. 
Nor should it be forgotten that on one remarkable occasion a 
lady devoted to the chase left a goodly portion of her white 
petticoat on the snags of an old willow, but nevertheless, un- 
daunted by the loss, stepped out in her ' cutty sark ' with great 
effect in the ballet that followed the play; and, as a song written 
at the time relates : 

X 2 


That very e'en a hunter keen 

Told her his tale alone ; 
And when he gave his heart to her, 

Belinda lost her own. 

What happens on the Erme so regularly is doubtless the 
case on other rivers, up which shoals of fish travel in their 
migration from the sea ; their enemy, the otter, follows in their 
wake as surely as dolphins follow the flying fish, or kites the 
countless host of grey squirrels seeking a summer home. Thus, 
fishermen, whose sport is too often vexatiously marred by the 
night-work of the otter, are constantly able to give useful 
information to masters of hounds as to the time when a find 
on particular streams might be almost reckoned as a certainty. 
At least, this was always the case on the Erme. ' The truff be 
come, sir ; and there's one if not two o' they otters along wi' 
em,' was the annual report of the old keeper, John Ford, to 
Mr. Bulteel, who at once advertised an early meet with a result 
almost invariably successful. 

I can well remember that, many years ago, a famous otter 
hunter, known in Glamorganshire as Evan Llanwensant, rarely 
went in search of an otter except about the time of a new 
moon ; for the wild animals, he would say, preferred the dark 
nights for quitting the stronghold of the cliffs, and venturing 
up the streams adjacent to the coasts. But with due deference 
to Evan's theory, it is far more probable that the spring tide 
rousted them out and compelled them to seek drier quarters. 
At all events, with only a couple of tan-coloured hounds, 
Famous and Careless, he managed to kill more otters and 
foumarts than all the packs in the country put together, the 
spear, however, being freely used when a chance occurred, his 
motto being ' Dum spiro spero? 

In the North of Devon, so devoted are the people to the 
sport of otter hunting, that not only the fishermen but the 
farmers will go miles out of their way to tell a master of hounds 
that they have sealed an otter up such and such a stream. 
Mr. Cherriton, indeed, for many years had, if he has not still, 


a special correspondent at Crediton a sweep, named John 
Bragg who being a first-rate hand with a fly rod, had also the 
eye of a lynx for an otter's seal ; and when it was his good- 
fortune to view it freshly imprinted on a spit of sand, like a 
clever French piqueur he would accurately note the five pats of 
the foot, being one more than those of a fox or a dog, its 
exact size, and the direction of its course, whether up or down 
stream, and then bound off for the kennels, no matter how 
far, to convey the news so welcome to Mr. Cherriton and all 
the country-side. 

When a fresh trail is hit on a rocky river, where a spit of 
sand is only occasionally met with and a mud band never seen, 
the spramts dropped on the boulders that crop up in mid-water 
indicate with tolerable certainty the course taken by the otter 
in his night's work. If the spraints the odour of which is 
literally more like scented snuff than foul excrement are on 
the lower or down-stream side of the boulder, the otter was 
working upwards ; but if deposited on the upper side, nine 
times out of ten it may safely be inferred that his course was a 
downward one. The keen hunters of the north, especially in 
Cumberland, depend much on these marks ; and while the 
hounds are busy in carrying on a drag, and no one can tell 
whether it is heel or not for heel too often affords the most 
enjoyable scent then every man's eye is directed to the 
boulders, and he who discovers the spraints shouts aloud to 
the field ' Oop-water ' or ' Boon -water,' as the case may be. 

Also, on rapid and stony rivers, if the hounds frequently 
land and carry the scent over the meadows and across the 
curves of the stream, it is a sure sign that the otter has been 
travelling upwards, and has taken the chord of the arc to avoid 
the current and shorten the distance to his next retreat. On a 
sluggish and meandering stream, too, he will occasionally do 
the same, especially if daylight be dawning, for the witches of 
Kirk Alloway never shunned the break of day more carefully 
than an old otter. 

A remarkable instance of three full-grown otters avoiding 


the bends of a stream and crossing a broad meadow by day- 
light was witnessed at Brimpts on Dartmoor by the tenant 
occupying that farm. He was called Coker ; and being a 
fisherman, was asked if we were likely to find an otter on the 
following day. ' Quite sure, sir,' he replied, ' on the East Dart ; 
for it was only yesterday I saw three big otters, two black ones 
and a white one, crossing that meadow below us and going up 
for Post Bridge.' 

'A white otter, Ned?' I snid, with a smile of incredulity 
I could not disguise. 

' Yes, sir, a white one ; the colour of that white hat on the 
squire's head.' 

Mr. Edward A. Sanders, the owner of the property, was 
standing near at the time ; and as he and I moved off together, 
I could not help telling him what I thought of his tenant's 

However, the man's tale was true to the letter ; we found 
and found, but owing to the hollow submerged rocks, did not 
catch a single view of either a black or a white otter. At 
length, on the second day, Midnight came to a mark on a 
clitter of rocks adjoining the river ; in went the terrier Prince, 
and to our utter amazement, out glided something that at first 
looked like a salmon belly upwards ; but it soon proved to be 
a beautiful cream-coloured otter, which in the dark waters of 
the Dart appeared as white as an Arctic fox. 

He was soon killed, his very colour being against him a 
fine dog-otter. 

Of all the beasts of venerie, there is not one for whose 
scent unentered hounds seem to care so little as for that of the 
otter. When the Rev. John Russell of Tordown first started 
a pack, during his first two seasons he had not a hound amongst 
them that would touch a trail. ' I walked/ he says in his memoir, 
' three thousand miles without finding an otter ; and although I 
must have passed over scores, I might as well have searched for 
a moose deer.' No doubt of it ; but when once he had secured a 
hound that thoroughly knew his work, he had no further trouble. 


The scratch lot, under the tutelage of Racer, soon learned their 
lesson ; and Russell in a couple of seasons ' scored five-and- 
thirty otters right off the reel.' 

The scent, in truth, does not appear a natural one to 
hounds or terriers ; and hence the difficulty in getting them to 
take to it. In the North of England it is a common practice 
to enter puppies on foumart first, and after killing a few of 
those skunk-like vermin, they take readily to the scent of an 
otter. Yet, to the human nose, no two animals can differ more 
in their natural odour ; the skin of the one yielding an effluvium 
almost imperceptible and by no means disagreeable ; whereas 
that of the other is so fcetid, so noisome, that I have seen 
hounds sneeze violently and turn away in disgust when killing 
it. But neither the rough hounds used in the north, nor the 
wire-haired Welsh hound evince such unreadiness to enter as 
their congener the foxhound, of which race it is no figure of 
speech to say that not one in ten ever fancies the scent. But, 
find one that really takes to it kindly, and that hound is price- 
less. His high-mettled courage carries him gallantly to the 
front on the longest and coldest day ; and while the rough 
hound, good as he may be, stands shivering on the bank, over- 
weighted by water and chilled to the marrow, the endurance of 
the foxhound becomes conspicuous. He goes on marking the 
most valuable quality an otter hound can possess and when 
he speaks, it is a guinea to a shilling the otter is there. Not so 
with the rough hound ; for, when at all beaten, he is very apt 
to throw his tongue too freely, dwelling on old scent, and so 
attracting the pack to hovers in which the otter is no longer to 
be found. 

Still, as a trail hound, give me a big blue-mottled harrier, 
or a wire-haired hound for that purpose ; he is not so prone to 
hit and flash ahead as the other, but is more poky in searching 
for his game, and consequently does not draw over it half so 
often as the dashing foxhound. So, to my mind, a thoroughly 
efficient pack of otter hounds should consist of a mixed lot, 
but chiefly of foxhounds, with two or three rough or big harriers 


to help them on the trail and, if not too noisy, to keep them by 
their bell-like tongues to the water-side. 

Mr. Trelawny, whose belief in a foxhound led him to under- 
value every other description of hound, was nevertheless in- 
debted to the rare drawing qualities of Romulus and Cardigan 
two rough Cumberland hounds for many a find and many 
a rare day's sport with his famous flying pack. Yet he cordially 
hated their heavy sing-song tongues. Mr. Collier, too, works 
a rough one or two ; but the otter once found, the foxhound 
is his main stay. Rough or smooth, however, an otter hound 
can never be too lusty nor too long in the leg ; for often where 
he can touch-and-go, a short-legged hound is obliged to swim, 
and at that game the otter is the better man. 

Mr. Waldron Hill, than whom few men ever followed the 
otter with greater success, adopted the plan of crossing a tame 
dog-wolf with his rough bitches, but down to the fourth or 
fifth generation the puppies were so wild and unruly that they 
were worse than useless worse because at the very sight of a 
sheep their wolfish nature defied all discipline, and run him 
they would at any price. However, what with time and rating, 
they at length became a serviceable pack. Nay, the Hon. 
Geoffrey Hill, to whom Mrs. Waldron Hill on the death of her 
husband kindly presented the whole pack, describes them now 
as ' a steady-working lot of hounds.' 

Owing probably to their wolfish incisors they were able at 
once to break up an old otter and tear him into 

A hundred tatters of brown, 

which feat, with a shout of ' Tear him and eat him, lads,' 
Mr. Waldron Hill always encouraged them to perform. 

On a river abounding in high banks and long reaches it is 
doubtful if hounds could ever kill an otter without the guidance 
of man. In such water their best chance of success depends 
mainly on the help he gives them by keeping a watchful eye 
on the shallows above which the- hounds are working their 
game. And to give that help efficiently the man on whom 


the duty devolves stands, it may be, knee-deep in the stream ; 
and there, keeping a steady and patient look-out, either heads 
him back into the pool above, or with a rattling view-holloa 
allows him to slip down into easier water, where the hounds 
can work him with more advantage. 

But the sentinel must be an experienced man, not at one 
moment watching the stream and the next looking up at the 
hounds, or, however clear the water may be, the wild animal 

will glide by him like a ghost, and probably never be recovered 

In drawing a river, hounds should never be allowed to stray 
away from its banks ; riot is thus prevented, and they soon 
learn the practice of clinging to the stream. Nor, when the 
trail is hot, can a hound be too slow in searching for his game, 
provided his slowness be not attributable to slackness or old 
age. The best finder I ever saw was a stifled hound. 

Hounds, when an otter is found in a deep pool, are very 


apt to flash off with the floating scent and to carry it for a long 
distance down stream ; while the otter, scared by the men 
guarding the shallows, has only taken a turn or two round the 
pool and come back to his strong hover again. Foxhounds, 
especially if not old hounds at the work, are not to be stopped 
by whip or horn at such a time ; down they go in full swing, 
splashing and dashing ahead in the wildest enjoyment of the 
surface-scent. It is a beautiful sight but does nothing towards 
killing the otter, for he soon recovers his wind and the terriers 
must again tackle him, but now with a far tougher task before 
them than in the first instance. He knows he is beset by a 
strong host without, and therefore will too often punish the 
lesser foe cruelly before he can be forced to quit his stronghold 
again. But when in a rapid river the scent is thus washed 
down by the current and the hounds are revelling upon it, the 
huntsman cannot be too steady in his action, for by standing 
still, instead of joining in their excitement, he will teach them 
a lesson of steadiness ever needful in an otter hound. Again, 
when an otter is loth to quit a big pool and shifts only from 
one strong hover to another, the water and hovers become so 
impregnated with scent that the most trustworthy hounds are 
then unable to distinguish the new from the old scent ; they 
mark here when the otter is there, securely catching his wind 
to prolong the fight. The only plan then is to call off the pack 
till the stained water has passed down, and presently on return- 
ing, of course against stream, the hounds will fresh find him with 
little or no difficulty. But observe that, when all is quiet, and 
especially if the banks are fringed with coppice-wood, the otter, 
finding no rest in the hovers and now half-beaten, is very apt 
to land and, if he can, slip away across country for some 
distant and safer refuge. This, however, is only a forlorn hope, 
and the enemy often overtakes him before he can ' fetch ' the 
point he aims at. 

An old otter going for a strong holt, especially if fortified by 
water, is a very difficult animal to head back, and if not killed 
in the attempt, will make his point against all odds. A very 


remarkable instance of this fact occurred to Mr. Geoffrey Hill 
when hunting in the county of Waterford. He was standing 
with his hounds and a large party of friends near a rock famous 
for holding an otter, but equally famous for baffling the best 
native terriers. However he was just going to put one of his 
tartars in when a ' holloa ' from his kennel huntsman made all 
the field look round, ' and we saw,' he says, ' an old dog-otter 
coming right at us. We rushed out and did all we could to 
turn him towards the river, not twenty yards off, hoping to have 
some sport, but all in vain ; he came straight into the whole 
pack and was of course instantly killed. This incident was 
witnessed by many members of my hunt and by several gentle- 
men who had joined me from Waterford.' 

An otter was once seen to go into a clitter of rocks on 
Dartmoor literally between the legs of a gentleman, the Rev. 
Fitz Taylor, purpostly stationed there to keep him out ; and the 
terriers, good as they were, fairly failed to bolt him afterwards. 

Again, on the south coast of Devon, near Slapton, there is 
a small brook culled Blackpool, which from the sea to its source 
scarcely exceeds four miles. It is well known to the local 
fishermen to be swarming with trout, and nightly did an otter 
visit it, but never failed to return to his stronghold in the cliffs 
before daylight. To cut off his retreat and head him back, 
several times the following plan was adopted : Leaving the 
kennels soon after midnight and jogging on with the hounds to 
a small bridge that crossed the brook within a hundred yards 
of the sea, the spot was reached about 2 A.M., and there the first 
blush of morn awaited. But all in vain ; time after time the 
same hot trail roused up the villagers and excited warm hope, 
but there was no visible otter and consequently no kill. The 
wily beast fairly beat his enemies, managing in the dark either 
to slip down with the current unseen, or to land behind their 
backs and gain the cliffs before the hounds could catch him. 

But every rule has its exception ; and Mr. Collier will never 
forget the triumph he once achieved in heading back an otter 
on the Torridge River. He certainly adopted an exceptional 


plan for his manoeuvre, and moreover, it was at night-time, 
which rendered his success the more remarkable : 

We found (he says) about 5 P.M. in a long weir-pool, some two 
, miles above the inn at Woodford Bridge, where we were quartered 
for the night. Rattled him well for an hour ; then called off, there 
being little chance of killing so late in the day. But, feeling sure 
he would go down stream to some heavy water below, I decided to 
try a dodge with him and keep him up, if possible. So, collecting 
five or six lanterns, I lighted and hung them at dusk under the 
arches of the bridge. Then stationed two men, one on each side 
of the river, to thrash the water with long poles just above the 
bridge, and, to crown all, Mr. Frank Cockburn and I lighted a big 
bonfire which, while we cracked whips and blew horns, we kept 
going till daylight. At 4 A.M. we began to draw for him up stream, 
and on crossing the very first hedge above the bonfire, away went 
the hounds in full cry. Then old Benedict's roar soon told us the 
otter was found, and the fun was on in earnest. He then landed, 
and crossing many acres of fern, gained a large cover, up which 
he went and down again through another cover ; but before he 
could reach the river by thirty yards, they rolled him over within 
a short distance of our night's quarters an old dog-otter. 

The trail, when an old otter has a point to make, will not 
unfrequently extend to a distance of eight or ten miles, and 
that too across country, if his point happens to be on another 
river. Mr. Collier's experience ot this erratic habit is very 
pleasantly told in the following letter : 

I have had some extraordinary sport this season (1884), such 
as I never saw, or can ever expect to see again. The trail hunting 
has been something wonderful. My first meet was on the Culme, 
near Collompton ; there took a trail, and at the end of ten miles 
up stream, found ; had three hours and a quarter, and killed. Last 
June, in response to an invitation from the Hon. G. Lascelles, I took 
ten couple of hounds into Hampshire to draw the streams in the 
New Forest, making Brockenhurst my head-quarters. Monday, 
1 6th, we met at Beaulieu at 7 A.M. After drawing up stream about 
half a mile, we struck on a trail, which the hounds carried on at a 
rattling pace for miles through this wild country. The otter now 
began to twist and turn a good deal ; but every inch was hunted 


out, and after nine miles we found, had one hour and twenty 
minutes, and killed. Wednesday, iSth, at Lodre Bridge, soon got 
on a trail ; making good my lower point, turned and rattled up 
stream merrily ; seven miles and a half brought us to the varmint's 
quarters ; had some good sport, and killed a brace. Next day 
(Thursday) met at the kennels, Lyndhurst ; close by was a pond of 
several acres, which it was thought advisable to draw before going 
down stream. On arriving there, the hounds at once had some 
very hot scent, and casting round, hit him off through a thick cover 
above. Catching sight of his seal, it put new life into my veins. 
* Yoicks forward, my lads ' (but not a word to the field), away we 
vent out of cover, across thirty acres of mowing grass to another 
cover above, through which the pack dashed as if running a fox, 
and on to another pond ahead. Leaving this in the rear and cross- 
ing a road, they broke into a large inclosure of heather and sedge. 
The hunting now was simply beautiful ; over the hedge they go, at 
the farthermost end, and out on the common, through a small piece 
of water, and away over the hills (many of the field, I believe, 
fancying I could not be' hunting an otter, the country being full of 
deer and foxes, but my faith never wavered). Sinking the next 
valley, we came to the river where we killed our brace of otters the 
previous day, only it was a mile or two farther up stream ; here 
was a welcome halt for a minute or two. I made my cast above, 
but found he had not gone up. ' Hark back ; ' and two hundred yards 
below hounds got on to him again, making the woods ring with their 
music. Passing the holt of the previous day, they carried it down 
stream for about four miles ; and here he again left the river, the 
hounds hitting the line across a portion of the forest, and dropping 
into the Burley stream, up which they hunted him beautifully ; now 
searching for him as if they meant to find. But it was hark forward 
again on to Burley, where several hundred head of cattle and 
several cottages brought the hounds to a check. However, I was 
soon on the spot, and lost no time in casting above the cottages 
as the day was growing older. ' Yoicks ! at him again ! ' and three 
hundred yards farther up Harlequin (the rough hound, which 
no doubt you recollect), galloping up by the stream, winded him 
in the hedge, made a dash, and out my friend came into the water, 
and was soon killed. Thus ended one of the best days from first 
to last I ever saw, the distance covered being about sixteen miles. 
Saturday, 2ist, met at Lymington Bridge, turned down stream, 
struck a trail at once, which we hunted about two miles, when the 
otter left this river also and went three or four miles across the 


marshes down to the Solent. When we got there, we found the 
hounds swimming the salt water, and I was asked what could be 
done. The only thing I could suggest was ' to get a steamer and 
cast for him on the opposite shore.' I think you will agree with 
me, after what I have now related, that you and I must feel how 
little we know what this wild animal is really capable of doing ; I 
say it is like music, we shall never arrive at the bottom of it. 
Another remarkable thing has happened to me this season. On 
August 26 I met at Dulverton, drew up the Bade, found near 
Bradley Ham ; had a capital turn and killed. Slept at Withypool, 
and met at Winsford the following morning at six. Drew down 
to the junction of the Quarm and Exe ; here I took a trail, and 
before reaching the old abbey at Barlinch, the hounds had a 
rattling scent on both sides of the river. I arrived at the con- 
clusion that it must be a brace of otters, but no otter was gazed at 
least for an hour. While we were working him with some very 
pretty hunting on the weir pool, I heard a view-holloa below in the 
mill stream, and rushed down with only three couple of hounds at 
my heels. The rest of the pack remained working in the weir, 
and at that very moment forced their otter to land through the 
cover above, being close at him and of course the field with them. 
This I knew nothing of at the time ; however, I stuck to my otter 
with the three couple and killed her handsomely, the other lot 
going up the vale like mad, sometimes in the river, and then again 
on land, till at length they rolled their otter over also about half a 
mile above. This is the first time I have ever known a pack of 
otter hounds dividing, each killing their otter. 

But now for the terriers, a most important and indis- 
pensable adjunct to a pack of otter hounds ; for on every 
occasion where strong holts or underground drains are met 
with, on them it will depend whether a trail is to end in a find 
or not. The process of ejectment, generally a bloody one in 
close quarters, it is their duty to serve. The terrier, therefore, 
should be hard, wiry, and by no means too big in size ; other- 
wise he will not only be unable to work a narrow drain, but 
by scraping back the earth to get at the otter, he will dam the 
water behind him, and so, if not rescued, be drowned. 

Like the foxhound, not one terrier in twenty will take 
kindly to an otter, although the veriest cur will join a worry or 


hang to him when killed and suspended from a tree. But as 
to drawing the hovers and drains of their own accord and 
helping to find him, that is at once a rare and most valuable 
quality. The writer has tried to enter, first and last, scores of 
terriers, most of which would readily go to ground and mark a 
fox or badger well ; yet four were all he ever owned that for find- 
ing and bolting an otter were worth a handful of meal. One of 
them, called Prince, would traverse a wet drain for a quarter of 
a mile, was often pounded by water, and as often rescued by 
the spade. Nothing would induce Tip to enter a drain, but he 
would follow its course above ground, searching for rats' holes, 
and so find his otter. Fox spoke freely on the trail, and would 
hunt an otter under a clitter of rocks like a spaniel driving a 
rabbit through a furze brake. 

But no one perhaps has ever possessed more remarkable 
terriers than the present (the eighth) Duke of Beaufort, who kept 
otter hounds for many years. One, called Billy, was so keen and 
so clever that, if he caught wind of an otter through a rat's hole 
on the bank, he would first search for an entrance, and if he did 
not find one above water, would go under to a depth of eighteen 
inches or two feet : then shortly after ecce signum a chain of 
silver bubbles rises to the surface, and Billy, triumphant, comes 
up again. Two others acquired this very rare accomplishment 
from Billy, and like him were occasionally saved by the spade. 
It is highly probable that on big rivers like the Severn and the 
Wye, otters grow heavier and bigger than they do on smaller 
streams, just as trout do. In Devonshire, for instance, the top 
weight for an old dog-otter is twenty-six pounds ; but on the 
Trothy, a confluent of the Wye, his Grace killed in the same 
week a brace of otters, the first scaling twenty-nine and the other 
twenty-eight pounds. ' In floods,' he writes, ' I have found otters 
far above the water ; once, taking the drag from my own front 
door at Troy House, the hounds carried it for six miles up the 
flooded Trothy, and then found him high in a wood overhang- 
ing a small rivulet. At first 1 feared it was a fox, but down he 
came bundling best pace into the brook. Hoping to head him 


from the Trothy, I ran two miles down stream and got under 
a bridge only two hundred yards from that river. I was 
scarcely in when I saw him coming, breaking the water in his 
huny, and bouncing bang up against my legs; Up he went, 
again, and we then killed him weight twenty-nine pounds.' 

When an otter is found in a narrow underground drain, the 
best mode of bolting him is to open it at some distance from 
its mouth ; the terrier then, with his head towards the river, 
comes in behind the enemy, and will probably bolt him without 
bloodshed ; he will thus escape the punishment he is otherwise 
sure to suffer. But, if there be running water in the drain and 
the dog is unable to get at him, the process of drowning him 
out, though sometimes a tedious one, is yet generally successful. 
By cutting a trench across the drain a few feet from its mouth 
the water is asily dammed by a heavy turf or two ; it then 
soon rises, and, as it fills in the drain above, the otter is com- 
pelled to bolt. The hounds of course must be kept at a 
distance, or a chop would occur and mar the sport. The 
modern manufactured dog, commonly called a fox terrier, is so 
thin-skinned, and so given to fighting his own species when 
jammed together in a hover, that I would far prefer using the 
old-fashioned, wire-haired terrier, with no bull-dog blood in his 
veins, to all the prize terriers of the present day ; but he must 
be a game one to the backbone. 

But, let me add a few more words ere this paper be closed. 
The hour of meeting in the morning cannot well be too early if 
you have young hounds to enter and only a couple or two of 
old ones to act as pioneers; for then the fresh reeking scent, 
unimpaired by the sun, hangs invitingly upon every weed and 
willow touched by the otter in his night's work, and is then, of 
course, far more attractive in its hot condition than after it has 
been chilled by time. But, on the other hand, if your hounds 
are veterans, experienced in their work, the period of meeting 
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t5 S 

3 U "S^ -a 

H > 

* * !> 

H H ^ 


^ rt u: tuo ^ 

C T-i 

H c H 

H ? ^^ 

g Q 

Q C tS.- 


C "U *^ rtj o ^ 

C_^ G 

c ,j c c ^ ^ 


.2 k2 
S S S* 1 


^ ^H^ 

! H S 

! | |p S 



O o m 


10 in wi 

"*" oo *^" "*" 

5 ' 

' " : >1 

- " : 1^ -^ 


**" : >T : 

** *v 

: g : s^ 

with towns convenien 
for visitors 

Blandford, Dorchest 
Durham, Sttnderlant 
Stockton, Darlington 



Harlcnv, Epping, Che 
ford, Dnnmcnv 
Braintree, Chelinsfor^ 
Colchester, Ipswich 

Brentivood, Chelinsfo 
Lynton, For lock, Exf 

| : i .^ iS 
j O KQ 

t U 5 i* 

^ w> S . 1^ 
rf^ ."j..^^^ 

2 ^<-<!&a^ 





do O 


g 8 
o o 



B ^ 


c c : B i- i B 

U Q ^ S EH >-l P3 
O oo H W W III H 

C. Lowman 
Robert Wall 

H. Prir.e . 

Tom Smith 
T. Bishop 

J. Newman 
H. Goodwin 

W. Henley, k.h. 






W. Adcock 
W. Maiden 

A. Guy 
G. Hollingsworth 

: fi 

: s j : 


i 1 

,! 1 

B a 



3 * > 

i2 i * w 
S S 2 o Q 

a 1 ^ 

; i 
So > 

P o 




& a, 

! I 

g M 3 

03 ^ 





O r 

X tn 

J? H O W 

H -A 


? ^ 



H U 

< < 

; ; ; a -a 

bo g >-' 



1 1 1 1 ^ 

a -g' J 


- 1 0-a 




-~i c4 

m v 

rj ^ 


S i-3 



. O H 

I ^ H f^ 

w g C 

^' 'S pc 



"3 . E'3 

?<! P |~ 



93 i^ 

& 1 

< 1 

" rt "- 

1 ' 

^ ^w 


^>-i * 

* o 

> ffi S S u 

^ W 5 





S o 


; ri rt "g ..j - 

n < 


o . j 



s -jj 

U .J v rt 


H ^ t*^^ !> c/5 

11 H j- t> 

> ^ If) 

!>on w 


H ^on 

^OO H 

C_2*^ U C.-IC 5y 

S3 =3 T 

v ^'ri 

C.J 13 


c " 

oi <J c'.J 

C--! c 3 

M H S Jg t^ g f^ 

H S H 6 

| ^ 




l P 

ro m OD (^ 

VD O f 


o t: 



O m 

m d 10 H 

IT) M 


" is " ' ' ' " 

. , . 

il j jjp | ii 

fill ftij i^ 

^l^-lilii 2 

5^O^. t/) .tt!^i2j 
ij.j) oi 1 ^ '~~ <3f^ <l"^ k 

-j; 1 ^ <*; <S j^J j<l 


Whitby, Pickering 


Chichester, Arundel, Mia 

^t iMr-'c Mo 

Bishop's Stortford, Her 


Buckingham, Brackley, 


Winchester, Southamptor 


Hexham, Haltwhistle 


Tenbury, Bromyard, 


Hereford, Leominster, 


Hereford, Ross 


Luton, Hatfield, Harpen 


Chipping Norton, Mart 
ton-in-the Marsh 
. H 
Alton, Alresfordi Win 

O O O O O 

O O c. 

") O 

X X 



W X 

X X 







-r V 

S ~ 

1 1 


" k S 

1 1 11 


*5 " 


C -^ 

00 | 


Q *2 I- 


c H" 

nJ ^5 

*^ w *O 


^ QJ 4> *H p. t 


i> c c 

Si* 9 
^ h Cf 




I ^ 

g gj2 'S 


C oJ G 5 

e S CT 



bi c" 



r /] J>> *^ ^ 

I ~- ^1 



c o 

3 c 

"o ' 3 

II 11 1 


c Jj 

1 1 Ipl 

W S E 

O M 

5 ^ 5 


W J 3 O 


: 13 

! << 


i i 2 i 


^ t C gj " 

i/j 1) t c 



C C 3 S a, 


- 2 3 ^ 



^ x r 

C-" u bo > o 

ui tyT 

g | we ^j 

^ rt rt ^- O 


? ^^ 

'c^! ^ o c 

5 s 




fi^EH wo 


PH B H ^ ^E 

Gc/5W Ofa 



EHO fa< 


H y ^ O OH 


i : 

M K 




t,' i 5 

i i w 


i s 



fe 8 I E 


rt c 


rt JH 

rt u 


*S a a 


I- s i 

^H OJ 

S i-4 



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H H 



^' '^ W 1^ 








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i> ?TH r^ 


; .2 


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)- -J (U 


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jj jj 


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> 1 

t/2 J2 J3 


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I Q fa 

w c | 

Pi "3 "5 


ss ^ j a 


< < 


O '5j 



C t C 


c c 



*" ^ *" ^ M 

S S S 


S E E 


S S S i/5 


S'C'C - 



6 = -n 


t; -o _.j; C 

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afafa Jj 



>*J 3^ fa 


j; ,*J ^fa X 

H Jj 

^ e . 


!> H jj 

H !> w H 


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u t: S 

c'.- c 2 "' c 
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S^g H 





S H H^ 


"of * 


t? s- 

CO 10 N 


5? a s> . 

i^. i 

: * 

; fe 

: : ..- :^ 


i i : i 

with towns convenient 
for visitors 

Bez'erley, Hull, Driffiela 
Winchester, Southamptc 
Croft, Darlington 

Newport Cowes, Ryc> 
Shanklin, Sandown 

Lincoln, Newark 
Scarborough, Malton, 

Folkestone, Canterbury 
Sevenoaks, Farninghai 
Tn nl> ridge Wells 
Rochester, Mailing, Mai 

Tunbridge Wells, Buxte 

Tavistock, Launceston 
Malvern, Tewkesbury 
Usk, Newport 
L ud low, Knight on, Te 






rt Ml 














"" ^ 




Blackerton Ho 

High Park, 
Sudbury, Derb 




(5 ^ 


" " 

S u 

Newminster, IV 




lJ 3 

a 3 j= 

Saxon Hall, N 

Narford, Swafl 



^ o 

T3 O. 

-2 1 

S c/5 

Lawrenny Par 

Wilton Park, f 



Greenrig, Lesb 


J. Pearson 

: : c : <j 
u 5 u c_<; 
X.C J=-3- , 
"""M" '":!=?! 

8 2-g I^IS 3 C = 


.< C 
_a J* .S.I u ! 

II ll := S 
;5 o s^ EO, 

-^d^ fapq SCO 

N. Brooker .... 
J. Morgan 

G. Shepherd, k 
J. Brown 
G. Alcock 

C. Smith 

G. Whitemore 
J. Brown 
F. Kinch 
F. Beck 

rt tn u C^c; yj *j 

< i-A ^ b ^ d d 

S i 5 J s 

V- '. U 


* "H 

c rt 
tn 0>D. 




c : 


13 rt , T3 rt 



t! S 



u Jr bo o i* 




> -^ ^ 




i-l ~ o O u 







O ^ 



d O c/5 H 

r- i r-i 





^, Pi 



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.** u 

^ ^ S) 

rt c 



M C 



; -0 


u r 





J a 3 


K . 6 

'S 2 "^ 



P3 .S 



| 3 ' = .H | 









DC *" > i i* tj 


H* S 

MEt, S rt 
3 ""^ 



5 S 


* * 



o i i- 

A. H4 m M m 

S S 


d s s 


- . 



3 >- 3 


J 4 

B > 

4) ^~ 


IH '^ 



H H 



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H ^ 





U c 2 C--T3 C 



c 2 c c 2 
"- o -^ o o r^ 


8 g-c 

^S^'S' 1 '^ S H 




>i< g 

^ S 

S M 

H S 


O o m o *o 

" 8 





~ * 



C\ O 

Barnstaple, South Mo! ton, 

Cockermouth, Keswick 
Derby, Burton-on- Trent 
Malton, York, Scarborough 
Lyndhurst, Lymington 
Abergavcnny, Usk 

Lampeter, Aberayron 
Lyndhurst, Lymington, 
Newmarket, Linton, 
Lynn, Swaffhatn, Fakcn- 

Nottingham, Newark, 

Bedford, Sharnbrook, Wel- 
lingboro', Kimbolton 
Oxford, Tliame, Walling- 

Haverfordwcst, Mi (ford 
Wilton, Salisbury 
Llanelly, Carmarthen 
Alnwick, Bedford, Wooler 


X -C i 

^- C 

1 Ij 5 C . o 


I 1 

& i 



w ^ * 11 

r*" rt X^ *" 

S PQ TH^ * ?c 



bo . 
2 | | 

| E'| 


f2 -"" 

(. Sen . . ^ 




| I Is HjL -3 



| ^ c ^^ 

!> c o -a rf 

2 rs ^c 

g W > |j^*^ bj) "-" 3* *- 


g M g 

o &* 

B >> WQ *i 3 jS X S bfl 


T3 ^' 

4> i_ bJo^ J2 ^ 'C ^ *C 


rt *O ^5 3 ^ 

pit PQ W S P3 pq - 

O 1 

O B (4 

M J 

c : 

WJ **! 

B 9 : 

^ : ~ _w <^ 

:^ i 

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i** i s c 



u 2" g 8 & 

P S.2 


'olc'o-o rt > """^ rt S 

* u 

-^ h/1 * 

_ ~_. 


(f (2 "cS 

Bi-A-c a 

^fc'pioh H B A< ^ 


^-^ d faB 


: : : : : . 


i i i : : c 

. . . V 


* ; s la "1 

c : 

ui ^ 


J ; s ; "3 ^ s 

5 ^ 

S ^ 

o. ^ P5 ^ 

rt S U 

rt ^ 



^ o .5 Jj < 

K S8 3 B ' d 


J B 

s ^ 

^ H 

o ^ cj ^ ^ ^ S 


H (=i w 

H < 

; flfi 4 *r* c bfi bfl 

p^ ^ p 

* >. 

3 " -g C c 

> rt rt 



>, >, 

U HH 3 

C/2 * J3 



<c B I pi 


c P^ ^ 

- -1 


o . a 2 _X B B 

^ U S 

o o u a 

^ 1-1 


j> ^ E^ fit?l 


^ - 

1-1 " o ^ B g KB 


^ ^""S 

"H CjO-n ufi cl -J -J 


3^ . ..5 


,3 B w s" s x s^ 


3 s s 

s ^ 

y-g y g - -8.; i 

i ^ 

c I i- 

A is 

H 5 

H ^ I> H ^ x E? c/5 H 


" H Hw 

H ^ 

^ O 

C ^ C-^ C ^ w "^ 4) C . J C *-* 

c J 

c a G.J 

i ^ 3 


s s l l^ m * l s^ 


O O O - 1 - 1 

2* O ( 


O 00 O OO 10 O 


o -* o 


said n 03 

with towns convenient 
for visitors 

!fr-!.- :- ! U ; 1 
^;|2| I?! 1 " it^ 

w :%>^ : f^j" : k ?^'<b;; 

^g^^ iggl ^2| 

2 K *: -S - -o : r - o fc 

Ga^l^^J ;it^t 

Jrf^f^^'SS^-M ! "-?^| 
***>" rs D -vl rS Xt-,^s<'^* 1> b. *s 


Melton Mowbray, Leices- 
ter, Loughborough 

Kington, Presteign 
Tiverton, Wellington, 
Ba mpton 
Newark, Mansfield, 

Rothbury, Morpeth 


Shrewsbury, Wem, New- 
port, Wellington 



M M K 

W 01 


\ 1 

a c C 

~ DO 


hO . 


>J X 

u c 


-o 6 & 



u -s 

m .-Srj C 


"2 I E>^ 


2 O. o 

S .& = 


i 1 

a ^ t/3 

Id * 1 


* $ 

# S 


si 1 

on Cottage, B 

1 ^ 


^ c 

C u" 



ide, near Taun 

| | 
S > s 

a 2 1 

-j5 1 9 


rdaleHall, Pat 
:, Penrith 




^.S u i e 

> ijr'l 


c 1JW 


sil 1 

| olj 


i P5 


M co H 

J P3 





H ^ ^ 

H co 

C : 



i ^ 

S : e 




. Wadsley 


. Beames 
Lloyd ... 
'. Davis 
ie Farmers 


(/: 'O * 

1 So 



"> I- CS 
H V fi0l 

w .^ o 

-M-"^ S 

i3 ii C .-3 

. Watson 

H ta 




,E C5^ 





c : 



M 5>- 

j-T v 





^ 3 


1 s 


1 & J 

" M 





O t/) tfl 

. JS 



PH "S 

S 3 -iS 



5 ^ 


g g g 

'*< ^ 

2 ^ 


u S S 

H o 


ffi ~ 



O t, u 



^ H 



H h co 

W H 

CO ^ 



O H H 

K ^ 

S T3 

_.. t, 


c ^ 




: W 


C fe 

a tj 

p^ . * 

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? F 



5 -a ft 
g .5 j 
j ? H 

i-' rt 

bj] CO 



Jj W 


w 1 

^ 5 


3 C 

S O 


^ . 

U J: 

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E- ^ 


^ C-a 


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j *i5 



"2 u- 

S S 

S" u S 

S S 





S S 3 

o ; 
J S 


rt 'S 

T3 . 

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*J 'C 

$ * 


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s -3 


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^ rt 

3CO > 

/? fcn 

5 C/) 

r ^ 


E^ cfi 


P^i^ . 

H H 



>^ - CO ^ 

^H J? 


3 3 


r<3 wi 
5' 3 

'^i i 

" ^ t3 



C *i 


H H 


S H S 

H H 

cn 1 *"^ 




* ^HS 

S S 


CO >0 


O vo O 





O t*N \O 

O> 00 


:^ :< 

: : 

:^ : 

: i 

\T : 

: :j : 

: : H 


: ^S : ? 
8 i^ 
| C 


; s BH'Q H 

* - 


,?J :t O 

1 1 

: C 

1 ! i 

i |Ju 

: ^ 


Hehnsley, Kirbyn 
Minehead, Dunst 


Lewes, Brighton, 

Louth, Spilsby, H 
Chippenham, Cain 



4 8,51 

Q (^ C 

U ^ U 

tt j: K 


Cobham, Leat 
Hastings, Battle 


! j |; 

Newcastle- Emlyn 
Newport, Cardiff 
ham, Corbridge 

Penrith, Kendal, 

C/3 t/3 C/3 C/2 

H H 



'" K- ^ S c" 

"3 ? c k? w o 

C -5 fe C J3 

S -H " ^J2 ? v 







1 1, 11 5UiJ 
i j ;ij j jjii 

s ! M j j M 


'O o^-* < l5 ^ "* ^ f- i_ . 


rt o ^Td fljCi.Sn-'-'Di' H ^ r^lc W J3 *J _. 



"5* 2ry 'Hn'SSg'ljii" 3 >>- " "a" Wd -r g - S 

OO < c ^oKpCQ^WQ ^ >^.U ^ uK C 5 ^^ S;^ 


ffi<; HQ W U W 1-1,1-^t-i CJ O E-i JO i- 1 , t-^co i >- : , WO faO 




5 J c : "H 



0>t OJ ^^KlJ^QJ^ 



rtW rtu F ^c3rt aj '- i * i ~^ 




S rTfaffl 


JO 1 ^.rt J8 rf hT K! . J 



: : S3 * c ^ >> : * : cf 




i * io t i *i* a i i 1 

S ^ c i ^" . g ffi s 



pq ^ ^^^^2^ ^.^"2^ . eg ^ "^ 



^ i s ! ^ fc j i a 1 i ^ S 1 



H 5 


| t 1 |2 i\ 2 1 E | 1 |s 



S H a; t: c .c ti^'d S S S " J! c- d c 'd c- d 



=w ^ gw |H ^Hfa^ a ^ m * | fa | fc a fe 





11 i i i i ; ;^T ; 55 ; 


Z = 


K V ffi ^ ' ^ S ;C " ^ * *^S ^ * ' *** S 

3 % . 

: 5: 

Id ^ Ed ^cz ^* )S -8 W S? -C'&s ' > Q Q^ 1 " *** ^ 

ffi 2 


-"ji-S* ^ ; c| ^ -^,5 -^^^ 2o w ^ 

h u '3> 

H fe 

2 6S 


*5 u 



U3 8 ^ 

EsiM^tt.S^X ^0 t^ Iv^ji ^S^ ^*^ S 5S*^ S-^ 1 ^ S^fi S "* ^ S "8 S? *< S'" 



S |S ^z 1 ^ <^^^s|a^s4^3^ril^^ ^ & 





pi S? 

v n S 


rt O 




e o 



5 s 


3 73 h 




r' O 
^ O 

'E - 



1 "1 

S^ 1 

il s 

1 ~ 





& . 


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w .O 

* . 







H'A & 




1 C 

. : 


d Si 

a < 
O *~ 

3 I 



< * 


' i 

x i 




H 2 


p^ ? 


o ^ 


) o 






-C . 

3 ^ 


S <! 






< i 


i e - 





T3 H- 

S 2 

i 1 


o a 






3 U 


w S 


o S 

j 4 



i> -a 

^~^ g o 

j_ * i" 






c >< 

5 a. 


aj <J <J 

loQ t: 

S Q.^ 







S S 




v rt 

f rt 



a- ^ rt 






ji. ^ 71 




H ^ 

H c 


cH . 


^ . SL* 



^ 3 

c 3 

S rH 

_ _ b 

in *J 

r^ 3 ^2 ^ 

" c J 






3- rt 

ox d 


















o a 







Croft, Darlington 

Coldstream, Duns 

Melrose, Kelso 

Lockerbie, Dumfries 

Ayr, Kilmarnock, Irvt 



Cupar, St. Andre 

Glasgow, Paisley 


ill -- 

iltg i 

wfl a 

W S3 (_) 



S -. c 



: " 



5S 8 - 


s * 


s i 15: 

3 ^ 

s"* a~ 






* S^ 1 











6 "g 









a \ 

a c 


X 1) 






<9 "^ 

Ml o 



W g 







Jigginstown, N 
Rockview, Sto 

Newpark, Ra 
co. Limerick 
Lissrenny, Ard< 

co. Meath 


Oatlands, 1 

Roseville, Clon 

Midleton, Cork 

Culleen, Mullin 
Tykillen, Wexf 

JS : 




: <; 



* u 

: <j 

3 "^ _. 





C __r c 

K C 1 ^ 





c _ 




t*> 3 Ml 

^ lu -o < e 




C c 


*3 rt 5? 



^ PH ^ O 



















~a ' 


a i* 

u ^ 



S " 








rt S 










g ^ 

<u m 







^ S 



fa H 

H H 






? oJ 


>- i 

4) C 

JO _ 




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if O 

s J5 







M u 





= 1 



fti "i-A 

^ . u 






s; H v. 



i. o ,.^3 

. > rt 

PH 3 


43 1- 



i > 

S 'l| 





s ' 


3 c3 





oi <i 

11 rt " 

.- rt 

4)> . 

3fa " 

r , ff 



w 5 



1 S 

2; 5? 



C C ^ 

J, ^ 

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rt C 

rt 3 

* c/5 

3 H 

n *C 

^ f +-^ 


"U 1^ 

o 'C ^ 





3 > 

H ? 



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S fa H 





* ro 

S> S 



S 1 



t~ m 





: S 


: j. 


: g 

: : N 




: C 

o b 

: S 

; ;^ 

D g 



%i : 

: M ijj 




r 1 *. 

: S 

K c o 

> 8 



S 5 :^3 

t * ~* 





with towns cc 
for visi 

Galway, A the 

rea, aanaght 

Cork, Macrooi 

Naas, Neivbrt 
Kilkenny, Kel 

Limerick, Cro 
Drogh'.da, Lo 

Navan, Dubli 


Kinsale, Cork 

Cloninel, Cahi 

Midleton, Cor 

W extord, Em 




>", o 

S 6 


g a 




1 1 i"| 




<; M 
. n 


111 ." 


I , 

t a s |=:| 




8 | -g 

"g ** V 




s|j3 .s 



5 5 

c || f^K-g 



"^ -l 

fvg o u o 


te ^ 


i ^ 




s" p 

f - ill 


c| ^ g 

rt * a C 








" ? 


n 3 M PI 


c * 





. e 


> __ 




c * " 

"S o 


S 2 

C J5 







ffi 1 o J 








: 8 | 


, <J 






A : o 


: : "2 






John Pugh . 
Thomas Owei 
Stephen She 

Samuel Olloss 

The Master . 

John Hilton . 

James Rigby 
Tom Cuthber 

The Master . 






S | S Eg 

CJ u ~ 

William Corn 


B " 










J3 _jj v jj 

2 8 | 2 






S : 


hi M . H 

. 00 



>'^^ > 





T) * 

o ; 




S u S 






S S S S 



C/3 wc/ ?C/3 










^ 1 

S|.j ^.3 
S^H H W H 




g 0> 













:^3 : 


:. < 




: :=q 
: :4 


H : 

S^ il 


*=? 5 


Id J3 
< bo 

if el 

El 31 


ft .-s L < 


S S.5 








S ' S 




^ s 

5; M""* 


8 < 


j,S!O\x m oX 

< o> 

< < < 




< < 


n PQ pa PQ 






fa* -J f " J2 






> 3 

J 1 | - c3 




Brecon, South Wa 

Brightling Park.H 

Patcham, near B 
ton, Sussex 
Rottingdean, near 
Pen-y-Bryn, Carna 

Pounds, nearPlym 

D"| U .^S 5 ^ 
JJ i. '-'.-^ tn ~" 

gfa-g Si= H T! "^2 "3 

S2cu-o>_- a .j= a 
oJ s^o = 5- s?. o 


SSswJJrtQ'lil'Q = 
n O m u> M S u 

Green Street, Old ] 
bourne, Sussex 


c" 1 ^ 

C "** 




: * 


: 8 : : : -s : 










g H : : : <3 : 







- 1 

2 Q- ^ : E -o 


6 rt 






^ w 


s >.' : s -s 








i-s ^ =, : .2 


13 ^ 



8 E 

f . 

cj j w : o 5 a 

.^ R 







y 8 tf : ^ ^ 





>, * 






S : 









.C fa 

C V 

* s .s | s s b 












_-o S 

'> <0 

1 i "I 1 1 s 

V 5 i U 









Q H 

H H , H H H H 








fa . . ^ _. c 







I g ^ c 2 









^ a 

C3 (^ S2 iH ">* "3 "^ 










c rt 
*t3 ~ 4) 
>, CJ M 


d Hl 1 ^P ^S, 








fa fa 


c J cw c E fa'P SS fa'cj 








* A 

S SR O S 8 M 2 









r* ?* 

c -c y -g ri 'fa ,"7~s 
a Si JS i? -fa t/3 n 




H ^ 



H H 

r H ^ H > OT 










a a 

g S c c c ri u 

23' 2^* 





.-M p* 






height and breed of 

17 to 18 in. Harriers 

19 in. Pure Harriers < 


20. Foxhound BUclies 

21 in. Harriers 

19 in. Harriers 

20 in. 

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21 in. Foxhound ai 
Harrier Cross 

20 in. 


22 in. Pure Southern 





U U 

u u u O O 3 w 






Broomhall, Pwlheli 
Woodfurd, Essex 








Frittenden, Staple- 
v,,,^.f k;^ 

Garswood, Lancashire 

Boddington Manor, 
near Cheltenham 
Langley Park, Slough, 

v "5 o 5 ~ ^"="-3 1 "5 2 " 

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Marlborough, Kings- 
bridge, Devon 
Yalding, Kent 









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K. A. Wood 
George Chappie 

Bob Pope 

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J. Sherwood.. .. 
Henry Hillier .. 

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Seth Lowe 

Mr. Thos. Ada 
William Lindon 
George Stanley 

One of the field 

James Churchwo 
William Ball 


The Master . . . 
The Master . . 

The Master . . . 

The Master . . . 




The Master . . . 
George Farr. . . 

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The Master ... 



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The Master . . . 
George Woodg 

Hugh Pugh .. . 









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n. Cross-bred 



in. Foxhound a 


n. Harriers 
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n. Harriers 




n. Harriers 
n. Harriers 

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ham-on-Severn, Glou- 
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End Moor, Kendal, 

Wilton House, near 
Waddingion, near Cli- 
theroe, Lancashire 

Penistone, near Shef- 
field, Yorkshire 
Ashcombe, nr. Weston- 
su per- Mare 
Plas Machynlleth, N. 
ther,R.S.O., S.Wales 

Stevenstone, Upton 
Pyne, Devon 
Quarme, near Dunster, 
Finghall, Bedale, York- 

West Clandon, Guild- 
ford, Surrey 
Roath Court, Cardiff 







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height and breed cf 


22 in. Foxhounds 

1 8 in. Harriers 

18 in. Pure Harriers 


19 in. Harrier and das) 
of Foxhound 
19 in. Harriers 
22 in. Harrier and Sontk 


22 in. Old Southern 

19 in. Harriers 
18 hi. H. and F. cross 

20 in. Pure Harriers 

i8A in. Harriers 
AY V S, MK. F. H 
21 in. /^wr Foxlionm 

20 to 21 in. hoxhounds 
10 to 20 in. Dwarf Pox 





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ster, Somerset 

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Egglestone, near Dar- 
Walters Hall, Mc.nkton, 
Holme, Stansfeld, Tod- 
morden, Yorkshire 
Trafford Park, Man- 
Trelissick, Truro, 

Jesmond House, near 
Maes Elwy, St. Asaph 






Somerleyton Hall, near 
Lowestoft, Suffolk 
Coxlev. near WelU. 




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Spring Lane, Cork 
Ballywilliam, Comber, 




Falthlegg, Waterford 
Grieve, Ballinamallard 

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Robert Smethu 
Charles Lawrenc 

J. Carnforth 

John Gillegan . 

Tom M'Keon . 
Henry King .. . 
Pat Brady 
lames Roach 
Robert Allen, k 






One of the field 
Mr. J. D. Henry 

David Shields 
George Pratts, ^ 
William Rogers 

Phil Hanlon .... 
Peter Murphy .. 

One of the field 
P. Ambrose .... 


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Q s 


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lie Master 

he Master 

he Master 

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ie Master 
ic Master 

ne Master 
ic Master 



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22 in. Cross-bred 
20 in. Foxliound 1 

19 in. Harriers 


21 in. Pure Harri 

20 in. to 22 in. //<; 
21 \n.Bi(ches 

22 in. Harriers 


hound cross 
20 in. Chiejly liar 





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John Cook 
The Master .... 

2 iS ''^ E *. rt .2 J2 C J 

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Oj^i^-^rx cj-C'^jrojS UJ3 u^ 3 

HS2HfcH? hE^H O h O H 


r. J. Richardson 

r. Richard Gill- 


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leighr and breed of 


n. Foxkonnds 


n. Harriers 

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Dash wood 








































































DOGS continued. 



























































I b rah am 






































































Merry man 






























































Pei Lies 




D OGS continued. 


















































































Pretty man 












































































































DOGS continued. 


















































































Try well 


































































































B ITCHES continued 



























































































H ecate 






















































BITCHES continued 










































































































































































BABBLER : a noisy hound, one given to babbling, or flinging its 

tongue without cause. 
BAY : the second point, counting from the skull, on the main stem 

of the stag's antler. 
BEAM : the stem of the antler. 
BILLET : the dung of the fox. 
BLANCHED : a stag when turned, or headed from its line is said to 

have been blanched, but the term is rarely heard now-a-days. 
BLANK : void, empty ; a blank day, to draw a cover blank. 
BROCKET : the male of the red deer up to three years old. 
BROW : the first point of the antler, springing from the beam close 

to the skull. 

BRUSH : the tail of the fox. 
BULLFINCH : a high and hairy hedge, impossible to get over and 

difficult to get through, whence perhaps the name, as of a fence 

impervious to a bullfinch, or any other bird. It might, however, 

be a corruption of ' bull fence,' a fence to keep the cattle in 

their pastures, as it is most common in the grazing countries. 

It has a ditch on one side or other, sometimes on both, and 

altogether is a disagreeable obstacle. 
BURROW : the underground home of the rabbit. 
BURST : the first and, generally, the fastest part of the run, when 

fox, hound, horse, and man are at their freshest. 
CALF : the young of the red deer whether male or female. 
CARRY : to carry a good head 'is said of a pack of hounds all pressing 

and crowding to a hot scent. 
CAST : the spreading of the hounds in search of a lost scent, either 

a natural movement or promoted by the huntsman ; also used 

as a verb, to cast. 


CHALLENGE : the hound which first speaks to the scent in cover is 
said to challenge. 

CHECK : a stoppage in the run owing to the temporary loss of the 
scent ; also used as a verb, to check. 

CHOPPED : a fox killed before he has had time to break cover is 
said to have been chopped. 

COCKTAIL : any horse not thorough-bred. 

COUCH : the kennel, or lodging, of the otter. 

COUNTER : hounds are running counter when they are hunting the 
scent the reverse way, i.e. away from the game. 

CROCKETS : an old-fashioned phrase for the upright or top points 
of a stag's antler. 

CROP : a hunting-whip. 

CROPPER : a bad fall ; the words crumpler' and croivner are also 
used in the same significance, the latter generally with the 
addition of the epithet imperial. 

CUB : the young of the fox. 

DOE : the female of the fallow-deer, hare, or rabbit. 

DOUBLE : a fox or hare doubles when it turns short back on its 

DRAG : the scent left by the fox returning home from his midnight 
prowlings. Also a fictitious scent produced by trailing or drag- 
ging along the ground a rabbit-skin, wisp of straw, piece of rag, 
or any receptive substance soaked in aniseed. Drag hounds is 
the term applied to a pack (generally a very scratch one) kept 
particularly for this sort of chase, which is at least as good a 
sport as hunting the carted deer, and for the most part much 
better fun. 

DRAW : used of the hounds ranging for their game. 

EARTH : the underground home or burrow of the fox. 

EARTH-STOPPER : the man whose business it is to see that all the 
neighbouring earths are duly stopped on hunting-days. This 
must be done overnight, when the foxes are abroad after their 

FEATHER : when a hound has a fancy that he scents his game, but 
is not yet quite certain enough to give tongue or speak to it, his 
stern will be observed to be violently agitated : this is called 
'feathering on the scent.' 

FEUMENT, or FEUMISHING : the dung of the deer. 

FOIL : an animal runs its foils when it returns on its own tracks. 

FORM : the seat, or kennel, of the hare. 


FULL-CRY : originally used of the chorus of tongues when all the 
pack acknowledge a burning scent ; but the phrase now is 
generally taken to mean that period of the chase when the 
hounds are fairly settled on the line, and all, hunted and hunters, 
are doing their best a period when hounds are as a rule going too 
fast to have much wind to spare for any musical performances. 

HARBOURER : the man whose business it is to mark down for the 
huntsman the covert where a warrantable stag is lodged, or 

HARK-FORWARD : the huntsman's cheer to his hounds to encourage 
them on the scent. 

HEADED : used of the fox and hare, as blanched of the deer. 

HEEL : see Counter and Foil. 

HIND : the female of 'the red deer. 

HOLT : see Couch. 

HOVER : same as Holt. 

JACK-HARE : a male hare. 

JUMPING-POWDER : a facetious name for any stimulant taken to 
cheer a fainting heart, on the old principle of keepin spirits up 
by pouring spirits down. 

KENNEL : the lair of the fox either above or below ground. 

LATCH FORDS : a name applied to the spurs from a celebrated 
maker of those useful implements. 

LEVERET: the young of the hare up to a year old. 

LIFT : to take the hounds from the point where they have lost the 
scent quickly forward without waiting to cast on the chance of 
hitting it off again. A hazardous game to play, but sometimes 
very effective with a clever huntsman on bad scenting days. 

MASK : the head of the fox. 

MORT : the note blown on the horn at the death of the deer. 

OXER : a diabolical sort of fence peculiar to the grazing countries, 
and named from its being designed to keep the cattle in their 
pastures. It consists of a tolerably high and strong hedge with 
a rail on one side, perhaps on both, standing out just far enough 
in the field to turn a horse neatly over after he has cleared the 
hedge, and a ditch somewhere. 

PAD : the foot of the fox. 

PATE : the head of the fox. 

PEARLS : the rough circular bases of the stag's horns. 

RIGHTS : a stag is said to have his rights when his antlers show 
the full number of points, brow, bay, and tray, and three on top.' 


RIOT : when fox-hounds hunt any scent but that of the fox they are 

said to be running riot. 
RUNNABLE : a deer fit to be hunted ; in the case of the stag, this 

is at five years, when the antler shows not less than two points 

on top, though sometimes, when stags are scarce, they are 

hunted at four ; hinds have of late years increased so greatly 

on Exmoor that they are now hunted as soon as they are 

strong enough to run before the hounds. 
SCORING : hounds are said to be scoring to cry when the scent is. 

very, hot and every hound in the pack is speaking to it. 
SCUT : the tail of the hare or rabbit. 
SEAL : the foot-marks of the otter. 
SINGLE : the tail of the deer. 
SKIRTER : a hound that runs wide of the pack, ' playing his own 

hand,' so to speak. 
SLOT : the foot-mark of the deer. 
So-HO : the cry raised when a hare is viewed (probably a corruption 

of ' See, ho ! ') 

SOIL : a hunted deer is said to take J0z7 when it takes to the water. 
SPRAINT : the dung of the otter. 
STAGGART : a male deer at four years old. 
STERN : the tail of the hound. 
TINE : the point, or branch, on the stag's antler. 
TRAY : the third point on the antler. 
TALLY-HO : the cheer announcing that the fox is viewed. 
TuFTER : the hound sent into cover to find and drive the deer out ; 

two or three couple of the oldest and wisest in the pack are 

used for this purpose. 
VENT : to breathe, used of the otter ; the bubbles of air floating 

on the surface of the water, which indicate his course below, are 

called his ventings. 
VIXEN : the female of the fox. 
WARRANTABLE : see Runnable. 
WHELP : a hound puppy at a very tender age. 
WHO-HOOP : the cheer announcing the death of the fox. 
WHIPPER-IN : the huntsman's subaltern, so called from one of his 

many offices being to impress upon the hounds the necessity of 

strict obedience to rules, an impression which has sometimes to 

be made with the whip. 

A A 




Art de Venerie le quel Maistre Guillaume Twici venour le Roy 
cTAngleterre fist en son temps per Aprandre autres. This is 
the manuscript mentioned by Strutt in his Sports and Pastimes 
as the earliest known to exist on the subject. The King of 
England was Edward II., so the manuscript must have been 
written between 1307 and 1327. See Chap. I. 

Le Art de Venerie, en MSS. Phillipps, no. 8336. Edited by Sir 
T. Phillipps. Middle Hill, 4to., 1844. Privately printed. Ap- 
parently another copy of the same work. 

The Art of Hunting, by W. T., huntsman to King Edward II. 
With preface, translation, notes, and illustrations, by H. Dryden. 
Daventry. Privately printed, 1843, 4to- 

The Maister of the Game, a manuscript attributed to Edward de 
Langley, Duke of York, son of Edward III. See Chap. I. 

The Bokys of Haukyng and Huntyng, and also of Cootarmuris, 
commonly called The Boke of S, Albans, St. Albans, 1481, fol. 
See Chap. I. 

The Treatises of Hawking, Hunting, Coat-armour, Fishing, and 
Biasing of Arms. Edited by Joseph Haslewood, printed by 
Wynkyn de Worde. Westminster, 1486, fol. Another edition of 
the above. 

Treatyses perteynge to Hawkynge, Huniynge, and Fishy nge with an 
Angle. London, 1496. Another edition. A facsimile of The 
Boke was published in 1881 under the supervision of Mr. William 

1 Merely technical books, or books which have no special reference, among 
other things, to hunting in any of its branches, are not included in this cata- 
logue : e.g. general books on the horse, or horsemanship. The date given is 
always, where possible, that of the first edition. 


77/i? Book of Haukynge, Huntynge, and Fishynge, with all the 
Properties and Metlecynes that are necessary to be Kepte, Printed 
by William Powell, or Powel. London, 1550, 410. 

The Noble Art of Vencrie or Hunting ; wherein is handled and set 
out, the Vertues, Natures, and Properties of fifteene Sundrie 
Chaces, together with the Order and Maner how to Hunte and 
Kill everyone of them. Translated and collected, for pleasure of 
all Noblemen and Gentlemen, out of the best approved Authors, 
which have written anything concerning the same, and reduced 
into such Order and proper Termes as are used here in the noble 
Realme of Englande. London, 1 575, 410. This is usually found 
printed with George Turberville's Bookes of Faulconrie, to whom, 
therefore, it has been generally attributed. Some copies have 
also verses by George Gascoigne, In Comendation of the Noble 
Arte of Venerie. 

A Short Treatise of Hunting, coinpyled for the Delight of Noble- 
men and Gentlemen, by Sir Thomas Cokaine. London, 1 591, 410. 

The Gentleman's Academy; or the Book of St. Albans, of Hawk- 
ing, Hunting, and Armoury, from the Original of Juliana 
Barnes, by Gervase Markham. London, 1595, 4to. 

The Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Fishing, corrected. Printed 
by Edward Aldee, or Allde. London, 1596, 410. Probably 
another edition of The Boke of St. A loans. 

The Booke of Hawking, Hunting, Fowling and Fishing; where- 
unto is added the Measures of Blowing, now newly collected 
by William Gryndall. London, 1596, fol. 

Country Contentments; or the Husbandmen's Recreations : con- 
sisting of the Art of Riding, Hunting, Shooting, Hawking, 
Coursing with Greyhounds, c., by Gervase Markham. London, 

Cavallarie ; concerning Horses and Horsemanship, as much as is 
necessary for any man to understand, whether he be horse- 
breeder, horse-ryder, horse-hunter, horse-runner, horse-ambler, 
horse-farrier, horse-keeper, coachman, smith, or sadler. To- 
gether with the discovery of the subtil trade or mystery of 
horse-coursers, and an explanation of the excellency of a horse's 
understanding ; or how to teach them to do tricks like Barkes 
his Curtail : and that horses may be made to draw dry foot like 
a hound. Secrets before unpublished, and nowe carefully set 
downe, for the profit of this whole nation ; by Gervase Markham, 
London, 1617, 410. 

A A 2 


Cynogeticon, or the Art of Hunting; translated into English Verse 
from the Cynogeticon of Grathis Faliscus, by Christopher Wase. 
London, 1654, 8vo. 

The Gentleman's Recreation, in Hunting, Hawking, Fowling, Fish- 
ing, by Richard Blome, or Bloome. London, 1683, 8vo. See 
Chap. I. 

The School of Recreation; or the Gentleman's Ttitor to those most 
ingenious Exercises of Hunting, &C. London, 1684, i6mo. 

The Hunter, a discourse of Horsemanship, directing the right way 
to breed, keep, and train a Horse for ordinary Hunting ; and 
plates. Oxford, 1685. 

77/i? Gentleman's Recreation; in four parts, viz., Hunting, Hawking, 
Fowling, and Fishing, whereto is prefixed a large sculpture, 
giving directions for Blowing the Horn, with folding plates. 
1697, 8vo. 

The Compleat Sportsman; containing Hunting, Shooting, and Fish- 
ing, by Giles Jacob. 1718, I2mo. 

The School of Recreation; or A Guide to the most ingenious exercises 
of Hunting, Riding, Racing, Hawking, Tennis, Cock-fighting, 
Angling, &c., by R. H. 1/20, i8mo. 

An Essay on Htmting, by a Country Squire. London, 1733. 

The Chace, a poem by William Somerville, with frontispiece of 
Diana. London, 1735, 4to. 

The Sport man's Dictionary; or the Country Gentleman's Companion 
in all Rural Recreations. London, 1735, 2 vols. Svo. 

Cynegetics; or a Poem on Hunting. The First Book of Oppian's 
Cynegetics, translated into English verse, with a dissertation and 
Oppian's Life prefixed. Dedicated to Sir Robert Walpole, by 
John Mawer, A.M. London, 1736, Svo. 

The Art and Pleasure oj Hare-hunting,^ John Smallman Gardiner. 
London, 1750, Svo. 

Thoughts on Hunting, by Peter Beckford. Sarum, 1781, 4to. 

Essays on Hunting; containing a Philosophical Enquiry into the 
Nature and Properties of Scent ; Observations on the Different 
kind of Hounds, with the manner of training them ; also 
Directions for the choice of a Hunter, the Qualifications re- 
quisite for a Huntsman, and other General Rules to be observed 
in every contingency incident to the Chase ; with an Introduc- 
tion, describing the method of Hare Hunting practised by the 
Greeks. London, 1782, Svo. 


An Academy for Grown Horsemen, containing the completed in- 
structions for Walking, Trotting, Cantering, Galloping, Stumb- 
ling and Tumbling Annals of Horsemanship, containing ac- 
counts of Experiments and Experimental Accidents, by Geoffrey 
Gambado, with plates by Bunbury, 2 vols. in I, 1787, 410. 

The British Sportsman; or Nobleman, Gentleman, and Farmers 
Dictionary of Recreation and Amusement, with plates. 1792, 4to. 

77/i? Complete Sportsman; or Country Gentlemaris Recreations, 
with frontispiece. 1795, I2mo. 

The Complete Farrier and British Sportsman, interspersed with 
Sporting Anecdotes and an account of the most celebrated 
Horses, with plates after Stubbs, Cooper, and others. No 
date, 4to. 

Analysis of Horsemanship; teaching the whole Art of Riding in 
Manege, Military, Hunting, Racing, and Travelling System, 
together with the Method of Breaking Horses, with numerous 
folding plates. 1799, 8vo. 

T^i? Sportsman's Dictionary; or the Gentlematts Companion for 
Town and Country, containing full and particular instructions 
for Riding, Hunting, &c., with plates. 1800, 410. 

The British Sportsman, by Samuel Howitt, with plates. 1 798 - 1 800, 
oblong 410. 

The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, from the earliest 
period to the present time, by Joseph Strutt, with woodcuts. 
London , 1801, 410. 

The Meynellian Science of Fox-hunting on System, by Hawkes. 
Privately printed ; probably about the early years of the present 
century, as Mr. Meynell gave up his hounds in 1800. 

The Sporting Dictionary and Rural Repository of General Inform- 
ation upon every subject appertaining to the Sports of the Field, 
by William Taplin, with plates, 2 vols. 1803, 8vo. 

The Sportsman's Dictionary ; containing Instructions for the various 
methods to be observed in Riding, Hunting, Fishing, Racing, 
Hawking, c., by Henry James Pye, with seventeen plates. 
1807, 410. 

Songs of the Chase; containing an extensive collection relative to 
the Sports of the Field, including the several subjects of 
Hunting, Racing, Angling, Hawking, &c., with plates. 1811, 

Rural Sports, by Rev. W. B. Daniel ; complete with Supplement, 
plates by Scott and others. 1812-13, royal 8vo 


The Complete Sportsman; containing view of the Ancient and 
Modern Chase, Breed and Training of Hounds, &c. 1817, 

British Field Sports; embracing practical Instructions in Shooting, 
Hunting, &c., by William Henry Scott, with plates. 1818, 8vo. 

An Essay on Hunting, comprising its Lawfulness, Benefits, Plea- 
sure, &c., with plates. 1820, 8vo. 

The National Sports of Great Britain, fifty engravings with de- 
scriptions, by Henry Alken. 1825, royal 8vo. 

The Young Sportsman' 's Miscellany, in Hunting, Shooting, Racing, 
Coursing, Angling, Cocking, &*., including a reprint of Barkers 
Tract on Angling, frontispiece and 22 woodcuts. 1826, I2mo. 

Observations on Fox-hunting, and the Management of Hounds in 
the Kennel and the Field, addressed to Young Sportsmen about 
to undertake a Hunting Establishment, by Colonel Cook, with 
plates. 1826, royal 8vo. 

The Hunting Directory; containing a compendious view of the 
ancient and modern Systems of the Chase, the Pursuit of the 
Fox, the Hare, and the Stag, also Notices of the Wolf and Boar 
Hunting of France, by T. B. Johnson, with plates. London, 
1826, 8vo. 

The Sportsman's Cyclopczdia; being an Elucidation of the Science 
and Practice of the Field, the Turf, and the Sod, accom- 
panied with Illustrative Anecdotes, by the same, with plates. 
1831, 8vo. 

Remarks on the Condition of Hunters, the Choice of Horses, and 
their Management, by ' Nimrod ' (Charles James Apperley). 
London, 1^31, 8vo. 

Wild Sports of th-e West, with Legendary Tales and Local Sketches. 
by W. H. Maxwell, with plates, 2 vols. 1832, 8vo. 

The Sportsmaifs Cabinet, and Town and Country Magazine; a 
periodical devoted to the Genuine Sports of the Field, by 
T. B. Johnson, with plates. 1833, 8vo. 

Field Book of Sports and Pastimes of the United Kingdom; com- 
piled from the best authorities ancient and modern, by Maxwell, 
with woodcuts. London, 1833, 8vo. 

A Dictionary of Sports, or Companion to the Field, the Forest, 
and the Riverside, by Harry Harewood. 1835, Svo. 

Hunting Tours, interspersed with characteristic anecdotes of 
Sporting Men, by 'Nimrod.' To which are added N.'s letters 
on Riding to Hounds. London, 1835, 8vo. 


The Warwickshire //z//, from 1795 to 1836, describing many of 
the most splendid Runs with these highly celebrated Hounds, 
by ' Venator,' with frontispiece. 1837, Svo. 

The Chase, the Turf, and the Road, by ' Nimrod,' with illustrations 
by H. Alken. London, 1837, Svo. Reprinted from the 
Quarterly Review, March 1832. In The Chase is the famous 
description of an ideal run with the Quorn, under Mr. Os- 
baldiston's mastership. A separate edition of The Chase was 
published in 1851. 

Memoirs of the Life of the late James Mytton, by ' Nimrod : 
with illustrations by H. Alken and T. J. Rawlins. London, 
1837, Svo. 

Extracts from the Diary of a Huntsman, by Thomas Smith, late 
Master of the Craven Hounds, and at present of the Pychely 
(sic), Northamptonshire, with illustrations by the Author. 
London, 1838, Svo. 

Northern Tours, descriptive of the principal Hunts in Scotland and 
the North of England ; with the table talk of distinguished 
sporting characters, and anecdotes of masters of hounds, &c. } 
by ' Nimrod.' London, 1838, Svo. 

The Noble Science; a Few General Ideas on Foxhunting for the 
Use of the Rising Generation of Sportsmen, by F. P. Delme 
Radcliffe ; with numerous illustrations, and coloured plates. 
London, 1839, 8vo. 

Hints on Horsemanship to a Nephew and Niece; or Common Sense 
and Common Errors in Common Riding, by Colonel George 
Greenwood, with plates. 1839, Svo. 

An Encyclopedia of Rural Sports; or A Complete Account (his~ 
torical, practical and descriptive) of Hunting, Shooting, Fishing, 
Racing, &*c., by Delabere P. Elaine, with illustrations. London, 
1840, Svo. The third edition was illustrated by John Leech. 
The last edition was published in 1875. 
The Old English Gentleman; or, The Field and the Woods, a novel, 

by John Mills, 3 vols. London, 1841, I2mo. 

The Horse and the Hound; their various uses and treatment, in- 
cluding practical instructions in Horsemanship, and a treatise 
on Horse-dealing, by 'Nimrod.' Edinburgh, 1842, i2mo. 
The Life of a Sportsman, by ' Nimrod' ; with coloured illustrations 

by H. Alken. London, 1842, Svo. 

Handley Cross, by Robert Smith Surtees, 3 vols. London, 1843, 
Svo. This edition has no illustrations. 


Hunting Reminiscences, by ' Nimrod.' London, 1843, 8vo. 

77/if Book of Sports, British and Foreign, 2 vols. London, 1843, 410. 

Stable Talk and Table Talk ; or Spectacles for young Sportsmen, 

by ' Harry Hieover ' (Charles Brindley), 2 vols. London 1 845-6, 

The Sportsman s Library ; containing Hunting, Shooting, Coursing, 

and Fishing, by John Mills, with portraits and plates. London, 

1845, 8vo. 

Hunting Songs and Ballads, by R. E. Egerton-Warburton. London, 

1846, 4to. A sixth edition was published in 1878. 

The Life of a Fox-hound, by John Mills. London, 1848, 8vo. 
The Pocket and the Stud; or Practical Hints on the Management 

of the Stable, by ' Harry Hieover.' London, 1848. 
Notitia Venatica; a treatise on Fox-hunting, by Robert Thomas 

Vyner, with plates by Alken. London, 1847, 8vo. 
The Stud for Practical Purposes and Practical Men, by 'Harry 

Hieover,' with plates. 1849, I2mo. 
A Guide to the Foxhounds and Staghounds of England, to which 

are added the Otterhounds and Harriers of several Counties, by 

Gelert. 1849, 8vo. 
Practical Horsemanship, by 'Harry Hieover,' with plates. 1850, 


The Hunting field, by the same, with plates. 1850, I2mo. 
A Treatise on the Proper Condition for all Horses, by the same, 

with plates. 1852, I2mo. 
Stable Practice; or Hints on Training for the Turf, the Chase, 

and the Road, by ' Cecil' (Cornelius Tongue). 1852, I2mo. 
Letters on the Management of Hounds, by ' Scrutator' (K. W. Hor- 

lock). London, 1852, 8vo. 

Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour, by Robert Smith Surtees ; with illus- 
trations by John Leech. London, 1853, 8vo. 
Sporting Facts and Sporting Fancies, by ' Harry Hieover.' London 

(printed at Woking), 1853, 8vo. 
Records of the Chase, and Memoirs of Celebrated Sport men j by 

' Cecil,' with plates. London, 1854, 121110. 
TV** Post and the Paddock, by ' The Druid' (H. H. Dixon), with 

plates. London, 1856, i2mo. 
The Sportsman! s Ft tend in a Frost, by ' Harry Hieover,' with 

frontispiece. 1857, 8vo. 

The Sporting World, by the same. 1858, I2mo. 
The Master of the Hounds, a novel, by ' Scrutator,' 3 vols. London. 

1858, 8vo." 


Horses and Hounds; a practical Treatise on their Management, by 

' Scrutator : ' to which is added Taming of Wild Horses, by 

J. S. Rarey. Illustrated by Harrison Weir. London, 1858, 8vo. 
The Flyers of (he Hunt, a story, by John Mills : illustrated by John 

Leech. London, 1859, 8vo. 
Silk and Scarlet, by 'The Druid,' with plates. London, 1859, 

A Manual of British Rural Sports, by ' Stonehenge ' (J. H. Walsh). 

London, 1859, 8vo. 
Reminiscences of (he late Thomas A ssheton Smith; or the Pursuits 

of an English Country Gentleman, by Sir John Eardley Wilmot, 

with plates. London, 1860, 8vo. 
The Horse and His Rider; by Sir Francis B. Head, with plates. 

London, 1861, 8vo. 
Notes on the Chase of the Wild Red Deer in the Counties of Devon 

and Somerset; with an Appendix descriptive of remarkable Runs 

and Incidents connected with the Chase from the year 1780 to 

the year 1860, by Charles Palk Collyns, with tinted plates and 

woodcuts. London, 1861, 8vo. 
Recollections of a Fox-hunter, by ' Scrutator.' London (printed at 

Guildford), 1861, 8vo. 
Scott and Sebright, by 'The Druid,' with plates. London, 1862, 

The County Gentleman, a novel, by ' Scrutator,' 3 vols. London, 

1862, 8vo. 
Hunting Tours, descriptive of various fashionable countries and 

establishments, with anecdotes of Masters of hounds and others 

connected with Fox-hunting, by ' Cecil,' with coloured frontis- 
piece. London, 1864, I2mo. 
Mr. Facey Romford's Hounds, by Robert Smith Surtees, with 

illustrations by John Leech and Hablot K. Browne ('Phiz'). 

London, 1865, 8vo. 
Practical Lessons in Hunting and Sporting, by ' Scrutator.' 

London, 1865, 8vo. 
Crumbs from a Sportsman's Table, by the Rev. Charles Clarke, 

2 vols. London, 1865, 8vo. 
Sporting Incidents in the Life of Another Tom Smith (Thomas 

Smith, author of Extracts from the Diary of a Huntsman), with 

illustrations. London, 1867, 8vo. 

British Sports and Pastimes, by Anthony Troll ope. London, 1 868, 
" 8vo. 


Songs and Verses, by G. T. Whyte-Melville. London, 1869, 8vo. 
Notes from a Hunting Box, not in the S /tires, by G. Bowers, 

oblong folio, plates, 1873. 

Lays of the Belvoir Hunt. London and Grantham, 1874, 4to. 
The Stud Farm; or Hints on Breeding for the Turf, the Chase, and 

the Road, addressed to Breeders of Race Horses and Hunters, 

to Landed Proprietors, and especially to Tenant Farmers, by 

'Cecil,' with frontispiece. 1873, I2mo. 
Triviata; or Cross-road Chronicles of Passages in Irish Hunting 

History during the Season of 1875-76, by M. O'Connor Morris, 

with plates. 1877, 8vo. 
Hibernia Venatica, by the same ; with Photographs of the chief 

celebrities in the Hunting Field. 1878, 8vo. 
Covert-Side Sketches; or Thoughts on Hunting, suggested by many 

days in many countries with Fox, Deer, and Hare, by J. Nevill 

Fitt. 1878, 8vo. 
Riding Recollections, by G. T. Whyte-Melville. London, 1878, 

Sketches in .the Hunting Field, by A. E. T. Watson. London, 

1880, 8vo. 
The Hunting Countries of Great Britain; their Facilities, Character, 

and Requirements. A Guide to Hunting Men. By'Brooksby' 

(Captain Pennel-Elmhirst). London, 1882-3. 
The Cream of Leicestershire, by the same ; with illustrations, 

coloured and plain, by John Sturgess. London, 1883. 
Race-course and Covert-side, by A. E. T. Watson ; with illustrations 

by John Sturgess. London, 1883. 
The Best Season on Record, by 'Brooksby;' with illustrations, 

coloured and plain, by John Sturgess. London, 1884. 
Red Deer, by Richard Jefiferies. London, 1884. 
Fox Hunting in Meath, by the Earl of Donoughmore. Dublin, 

Sport, by W. Bromley- Davenport. London, 1885. 



ABBEY, Arthur, anecdote of, 229 
Acland, the second Sir Thomas, 


Albert, Prince, the ribbon always 
worn by, 31, note 

Aldermaston, a run from, to 
Reading, 31 

Alfred the Great a skilled hun- 
ter, 8 

Alvanley, Lord, anecdote of, 181 

Anne of Bohemia, 14 

Anselm, St., and the hare, 2 

Armada, Spanish, deficient 
muster of cavalry against the, 

Arsenic administered to horses 
by grooms, 91 

Arundel, Lord, on the first 
regular employment of fox- 
hounds, 28 

Ascot kennels, 112 

Athelstan prohibits export of 
horses, 161 

Athenians as horse-riders, 200 

Atherstone pack and country, 

Aylesbury, Vale of, 252 

BADMINTON stables, 91 ; ken- 
nels, plan of, 118; plan 


of bitch and puppy houses, 


Balaclava, incident of, 196 
Barrymore, Lord, anecdote of, 


Beagles, choice of, for hunting 
the hare on foot, 85 ; best 
method of hunting, 87 ; list 
of, in the United Kingdom, 

Beaufort hounds, first diversion 

of, to fox-hunting, 28 
Beaufort, Duke of, otter terriers 

of, 319. 

Beckford's ' Thoughts on Hunt- 
ing,' 4, 20 ; decries hare- 
hunting, 25 ; on the summer 
treatment of the hunter, 97 ; 
on kennels, no 

Bell, Dr., on the renewal of 
horn in the stag, 40 

Belvoir hounds, antiquity of the, 
28; history of, 217; their 
singular beauty, ib. ; the 
country hunted by, 218 

Berkeley family, fox-hunting 
by the, 29 ; stag-hunting, 

Berners, Dame, and her ' Boke 

of St. Albans,' 5, 8 
Bibliography, 354 



Bicester pack and country, 250 

Billesdon Coplow run, the, 227 

Billcsdon kennels, plan of, 113 

Bits, use of, 1 06 

Blades, William, his conclusion 
respecting Dame Berners, 6 

Elaine's Encyclopaedia of Rural 
Sports,' I ; records Queen 
Elizabeth's hunting prowess, 

Blome, Richard, ' Gentleman's 
Recreation 'of, 18 ; on hare- 
hunting, 23 

Boothby, Thomas, an early 
keeper of foxhounds, 28 

Brad well Grove, 257 

Brian, Reginald, Bishop of 
Worcester, his love of the 
chase, II 

1 Brooksby ' on the Pytchlcy 
Wednesday, 238 ; on the es- 
sentials of a Vale hunter, 253 ; 
on riding in the Heythrop 
country, 255 

Bulteel, John, his plan of arti- 
ficial drains for otters, 303 ; 
his observations of otter life, 

CANUTE, regulation of the chase 

by, 9 

Carter the huntsman, 146 

Cecil,' his notice of 'The 
Maister of the Game,' 7 

Charing Cross, old Berkeley ken- 
nel at, 29 

Charles II., remarkable stag- 
hunt in the reign of, 31 

Chaucer on the addiction of the 
clergy to the chase, 1 1 ; cited 
in illustration of fox-hunting, 


Checking, 139 

Chopping of foxes, 138 

Christian, Dick, on thorough- 
bred hurters, 168 ; on the 
method of making a hunter, 
176 ; his reminiscences of 
a great run at Cottesmore, 

Clark, Thomas, an example of a 
bad whipping-in system, 142 

Clergy, hunting by the, in former 
times, II 

Clowne, Abbot William de, a 
breeder of hounds, 12 

Cockaine, Sir Thomas, 7 on 
fox-hunting, 28 

Cocktail breed of hunter, 167 

Colic in horses, 105 

Collier, Mr., on otter-hunting, 
297 ; on the breeding habits 
of the otter, 298 ; successful 
heading back of an otter by, 
315; his experience of trail- 
hunting, 316 

Collins, Digby, on the treatment 
of diseases in the horse not re- 
quiring veterinary aid, 101 

Coilyns, Dr. Palk, instances 
abnormal number of points in 
stags' horns, 40 

Compensation to farmers, 153 

Cook, Colonel, on thorough- 
breds compared with cocktails, 

Corbet, Mr., 248 

Corns in horses, IOI 

Cottesmore hunt, 229 ; a re- 
markable day's work of the, 

' Country Gentleman's Com- 
panion,' 20 

Crib-biting, prevention of, 93 

Cross-country gallops, 186 




Cunard, Sir Bache, 
hunted by, 228 



his account of the Duke 
Grafton's pack, 259 


DANES, game laws introduced 
by, 8 

Daventry, 237 

Deer, red, cunning and strata- 
gems of, 38, 49 ; colour of, 39 ; 
growth of horns as determin- 
ing age, ib. ; designated by his 
points, z$.; examples of abnor- 
mal number of points, 40 ; re- 
production of horn, ib. ; time 
for hunting, 41 ; 'harbouring,' 
ib. ; difficulty of procuring 
hounds for hunting, 47 ; scent, 
49; taking soil, ib. ; running 
to herd, ib. ; a hunt of, at Ex- 
moor, 55 ; destructive pro- 
pensity of, 6 1 

Derby, twelfth Earl of, stag- 
hounds of, 32 

Devonshire, North, stag-hunting 
renown of, 32 

Distemper in hounds, 127 ; 
effect of rounding ears in, 


Dracek, Baronne de, a celebrated 
French huntress, 15 

Drains, how to construct, for 
foxes, 156 ; for otters, 302 

Drake family of huntsmen, 251 

Draper, Diana, 16 

Draper, William, a Yorkshire 
fox-hunter, 16 

Drawing for hares, 79 ; for foxes, 
136 ; for otters, 313 

' Druid ' on cross-breeding for 
hunters, 170; instance of pro- 
phetic instinct in a horse re- 
lated by, 206 note ; his de- 
scription of Dick Knight, 234 ; 

EAR cropping of hunters, 108; 
rounding of puppies, 131 

Earth, running to, 68 

Earth-stopper, duties of an, 151 

Earths, artificial fox, how to 
construct, 156 

Edward the Confessor, a patron 
of the chase, 9 

Edward III. accompanied by a 
hunting establishment in his 
wars, 10 ; endeavour of, to 
improve the breed of horses, 

Elizabeth, Queen, a notable 
huntress, 13 ; stag-hunting in 
the reign of, 36 

1 Emblem,' a famous steeple- 
chaser of bad shape, 173 

England and Wales, list of 
hounds in, stag, 321 ; fox, 
322 ; hare, 335 ; beagle, 343 

Epping hunt, origin of, 1 7 

Erme, the, an otter river, 307 

' Essay on Hunting,' anonymous, 
4, 19 

Essex, curious hunting establish- 
ment in, 30 

Essex, East, kennels, plan of, 1 18 

Exmoor, antiquity of, as a royal 
hunting-ground, 32 ; charm 
of stag-hunting on the, 37 ; 
trying nature of, to hounds, 
48 ; account of a stag-hunt 
with Arthur Heal at, 55 

FAIRS, horse, 174 ; purchasing 

hunters at, 175 
Farmers, compensation to, 4 




Fences, different ways of ridin j 
at, 209 

Fitzhardinge, Earl, against loud- 
voiced whippers-in, 146 

Fitzwilliam pack and country, 

Fordham, George, repudiation of 
spurs by, 213 

Fortcscue, Lord, 32 

Founder, 103 

Fownes, Thomas, an early 
keeper of foxhounds, 28 

Fox, George Lane, his opinion 
of hare-hunting, 83 

Foxhounds, first regular em- 
ployment of, 28 ; dwarf, as 
harriers, 74 ; drawing, 136; 
losing scent, 139 ; accessible 
to Londoners, 275 ; lists of, 
in the United Kingdom, 322 

Fox-hunting, literary notices of, 
24 ; how pursued in the last 
century, 29 ; introduction of 
present style of, 33 ; com- 
parison of past and present, 
34 ; the practical work of, 
136; by moonlight, 186 ; from 
London, 277 

Fox, traditionary enmity to the, 
26 ; habits of the, 62 ; his 
scent, 65 ; his behaviour before 
hounds, 66 ; going to ground, 
68 ; his trick of thrusting 
another fox into the line, 70 ; 
hand-reared cubs, 71 ; dietary, 
ib. ; mange in, caused by horse- 
flesh, 72 ; meeting a pack of 
harriers, 75 ; alleged killing of 
lambs by, ib. t 154; protection 
of game birds from, 73 ; pre- 
dilection of, for bogs, 136; 
chopping of, 138 ; coursed by 
a dog daring a run, 140; 


habits of, in breaking covert, 
145 ; feeling of farmers to- 
wards, 154 ; poultry-killing 
propensity of, 155 ; construc- 
tion of artificial earths for, 156 
Frceby Wood, a famous meet at, 

GARDINER'S ' Hare Hunting,' 

20 ; reviles fox-hunting, 25 
Cayman,' a queer-looking 

hunter, 174 
Gelding, when first adopted in 

England, 161 

George III., stag-hunting by, 31 
George IV., at a run from 

Aldermaston to Reading, 31 ; 

at a famous run in the Cottes- 

more country, 230 
Gillard, Frank, his remedy for 

distemper in hounds, 127 
Glossary of hunting terms, 350 
Goodwood kennels, cost of, no 
Goosey, fox-hunting aphorism 

of, 139 

Grafton, Duke of, pack of, 259 
Grantham, 218 
Greene, Squire, 198, 201 
Grooming, 107 
Grooms, ignorance in, 91 
Gurney, Richard, remarkable 

leap of, 181 

HANDS, 204 

Harbourer, work of the, 41 

Hare-hunting, literary notices 
of, 23 ; instructions for, 79 ; 
season for, 82 ; the closing 
scene of, ib. ; Mr. George 
Lane Fox's opinion of, 83 ; 
with beagles on foot, ib. 

Harriers, no distinct breed, 74 ; 



dwarf foxhounds used for, ib. ', 
occasional killing of a fox by, 
75 ; how to breed, ib. ; ken- 
nel management of, 78 ; 
quarrelsome disposition of, ib. ; 
how to be handled in the field, 
79; lists of, in the United 
Kingdom, 335 

Heal, Arthur, Lord Ebrington's 
huntsman, 53 

Henry I., enclosure of Woodstock 
by ,9 ; grants hunting privileges 
to the citizens of London, 17 

Henry II., 9 

Henry III. grants hunting privi- 
leges to ecclesiastics, n ; 
hunting establishment of, at 
Pytchley, 233 

Henry VIII., efforts of, to im- 
prove the breed of horses, 161 

1 1 eythrop pack and country, 254 

Ilieover, Harry, his advice on 
buying horses, 183 

Hill, Hon. Geoffrey, otter-hunt- 
ing system of, 293 ; on the 
breeding habits of the otter, 
298 ; record of sport by, 
300 ; curious otter-hunting 
adventure of, 315 

Hill, Waldron, otter-hunting 
system of, 293 ; cross-breeding 
of otter hounds by, 312 

Hills, Jem, 254 

Horn, use of the, 137 
Horncastle fair, 175 
Horse, the kind of, for Exmoor, 
55 ; liability of, to illness in 
the stable, 89 ; importance of 
sanitary regulations for, 90 ; 
a victim of ignorant grooms, 
91 ; how stabled at Badmin- 
ton, ib. ; treatment of, in 
summer, 97; treatment of, 


after coming in from hunting, 
99 ; attention to accidenta 
injuries in, 100 ; diseases of, 
and their treatment, 101 ; 
saddling, 105 ; billing, io5 ; 
shoeing, ib. ; grooming, 107 ; 
the old practice of ear crop- 
ping, 108 ; use of, by whip- 
pers-in, 147 ; early history of, 
in England, 160 ; efforts of 
Henry VIII. to improve the 
breed, 161 ; great change for 
the better recorded by Mark- 
ham, 163 ; hunting, 164 ; 
colour, 165 ; shape according 
to Markham, 166; old and 
modern hunters, ib. ; the 
thorough-bred, 1 68 ; choice 
of animals for crossing, 1 70 ; 
judging a hunter by his head, 
171 ; shape often a fallacious 
criterion, 172; fairs and pur- 
chase of hunters there, 174 ; 
Tattersall's auctions, 179 ; 
examples of high prices for- 
merly paid for, 180; buying 
from dealers, 183 ; sympathy 
of, with his rider, 201 ; his 
instinct of danger ahead, 206 ; 
different ways of putting at 
fences, 209 ; how to be treated 
by his rider after hunting, 
214 ; first introduction of the 
custom of second horses, 221 
Hounds, term of working life of, 
121 ; breeding and rearing of, 
121 ; prejudices on the subject 
of colour, 122; dieting, 124; 
distemper in, 127 ; life of, in 
the kennels during the hunt- 
ing season, 128 ; rounding 
the ears of, 131 ; securing obe- 
dience in, ib. ; Somerville's 




description of a perfect animal, 
ib. ; the Badminton Potentate, 
133; expenses of a pack, 134; 
to be allowed to eat their fox, 
140 ; how they should be dealt 
with by whippers-in, 142 ; 
singing of, in kennel, 150 ; for 
otter hunting, 311 ; alpha- 

. betical lists of names of, 344. 
See also Foxhounds, Harriers, 
and Staghounds 
Hunting vainly decried, 2 ; 
literature of, 3 ; restricted in 
favour of the upper classes by 
the Danes, 8 ; passion of the 
Norman kings for, 9 ; de- 
nounced by John of Salisbury, 
ib. ; caused suffering to the 
lower classes, 1 1 ; practice of, by 
the clergy, ib. ; early participa- 
tion of ladies in, 12; privileges 
granted to the citizens of 
London, 17 ; list of animals 
formerly appropriate for, 22 ; 
first regular employment of 
foxhounds in, 28; practised 
in the metropolitan suburbs, 
29 ; our ancestors' early hours 
for beginning, ib. ; time of, for 
the stag, 41 ; value of book- 
lore in, 109 ; extravagant ex- 
penditure not a necessity of, 
III ; servants, their duties, 
135; horses for, 164; in rela- 
tion to riding, 189 ; rareiv 
attended with casualties to 
ladies, 207 ; from home, only 
capable of affording its true 
pleasures, 266 ; from London, 
271; glossary, 350; biblio- 
graphy, 354 

Hunts, lists of, in the United 
Kingdom, 321 


Huntsman, instructions for, when 
drawing, 136 ; use of the horn 
by, 137 what to do when the 
fox is afoot, 138 ; advantage 
of a fine voice to, 145 

Huntsman, kennel, duties of a, 

IRF.T.AND, wild stag hunting in, 
33 ; hunting breed of horses 
in, 175 ; lists of hounds in, 
stag, 322 ; fox, 333 ; harrier, 
341 ; beagle, 343 

JOB hunters, 283 

John, King, import of horses by, 

John of Salisbury, denunciation 

of the chase by, 9 

KENNELS, conversion of out- 
buildings into, no, 118; must 
be dry, airy, and warm, ib. ; 
situation of, III ; as near 
the house as possible, 112; 
plans of those at Billesdon, 
113; at Badminton, 117; at 
Rivenhall, 118 ; use of whips 
in the, 148 ; singing of hounds 
in 150 ; lists of, 321 

Kennel huntsman, duties of a, 

' 148 

Kensington Gardens, foxhunting 
on the site of, 29 

Kineton, establishment of the 
kennels at, 249 

King, Charles, the Fytchley 
huntsman, 235 

Kingsley, Charles, on the 



pleasure of hunting 
familiar company, 267 
Knight, Dick, 234 
4 Knightley's Leap,' 181 

LADIES, early hunting costume 
of, 12 ; hands of, 207 

Langley, Edmund de, work on 
hunting attributed to, 7 

Lawrence, Mr., on the summer 
treatment of the hunter, 97 

Leamington as a hunting centre, 

Leap, remarkable, 181 ; position 
of the rider in taking, 202 ; 
Leicester, 225 

Lincoln's Inn Fields, ancient 
meets in, 17 

Llanwensant, Evan, an otter 
hunter, 308 

Lbckley, Mr., 29 

Lomax, Mr., otter - hunting 
system of, 293 

London, grants of hunting 
privileges to, 17 ; vicinity of, 
formerly hunted by the Ber- 
keleys, 29 ; hunting from, two 
ways of, 273 ; its hard work 
as described by Anthony 
Trollope, ib. ; lists of stag and 
foxhounds accessible from, 
274 ; effects of long and fre- 
quent railway journeys from, 
276 ; hunting the fox from, 
277 ; the plan of keeping the 
hunters in, 278 ; the alterna- 
tive plan, 281 ; hunting from, 
on the 'job ' system, 283 

Long's Reading feeding meal, 


Long, William, on whipping-in, 

Lord Mayor, hunting with the 

hounds of the, 17 
Loughborough, 225 
Lowther family, connection of, 

with the Cottesmore hounds, 

Lutterworth, 237 

MACAULAY, Lord, riding expert 

ence of, 178 

Macclesfield's, Lord, pack, 258 
' Maister of the Game,' the, 7 
Market Harborough, 237 ; oxers 

of, 238 

Markham, Gervase, ' Country 
Contentments' of, 18 ; his 
praise of the stag, 23 ; on the 
chase of the fox, 27 ; records 
a great improvement in horse- 
flesh, 163 ; his remarks on 
hunters, 164 

May Fair, ancient meets in, 17 
Melton Club, horse selling soirees 

at the, 1 80 

Melton Mowbray, a point of 
vantage for the Quorn, 224 ; 
hunting society of, 270 
Meynell, Mr., his mastership o f 

the Quorn hounds, 220 
Milton pack and country, 262 
Mostyn, Sir Thomas, 250 

NAVICULAR disease, 103 

' Nimrod ' on half-bred hunters 

past and present, 166 
Northampton, 237 
Northumberland, fifth Earl of, 

stud of, 1 60 
Norwich, hunting grounds 

owned by the see of, at the 

Reformation, 12 . 

B B 




OAKLEY hunt, 261 
Osbaldeston, Squire, 221 
Otter, the, our defective know- 
ledge of, 289 ; his habit of 
shifting quarters, 291 ; find- 
ing in a new neighbourhood, 
story of, 292 ; not capable of 
living in water, 294 ; neces- 
sity of changing streams in 
hunting, 295 ; letter from Mr. 
Collier on, 296 ; time for 
hunting, 297 ; breeding habits 
of, 298 ; hunting influenced 
by the state of the rivers, 300 ; 
instance of migration of, in a 
patriarchal fashion, 301 ; arti- 
ficial drains for, 302 ; family 
life of, as observed by Mr. 
Bulteel, 304; arrival of, he- 
ralded by the truff, 307 ; po- 
pular enthusiasm for hunting, 
in North Devon, 308 ; indica- 
tions of the course of, 309 ; 
scent of, not readily taken by 
hounds, 310 ; choice of hounds 
for hunting, 311; difficulty of 
heading back, 314; trail of, 
316 ; terriers, 318 ; how to 
bolt, in a narrow underground 
drain, 320; hour for starting 
the hunt of, ib. 

Oxfordshire, South, pack and 
country, 258 

PARTRIDGE, protection of, from 

foxes, 73 

Payne, Charles, 230 
Payne, Geofe, interlude of, 

with a fox \vhi'e hunting hare, 

75 ; sale of the stud of, 180 
Pheasants, protection of, from 

foxes, 73 


Plymouth, Lord, horse-buying 

vagaries of, 181 
Pollard, Hugh, 32 
Pope on the court ladies' pursuit 

of hunting, 14 
' Potentate,' a Badminton hound 

of a perfect type, 133 
Poultry, compensation claims 

for, 155 

1 Prince of Wales's day ' in the 

. Cottesmore, 230 

Provinces, hunting in the, 243 

Pytchley hounds, history of the, 
232 ; a great day's sport with 
the, 234 ; towns in the vici- 
nity of the, 236 ; the country 
hunted by the, 238 


Quorn hounds, history of, 220 ; 
the country hunted by, 225 

RAILWAY facilities for hunting 
from London, 274, 276 ; 
effects of long and frequent 
journeys by, 276 

Rheumatism in hounds, from the 
situation of the kennel, 1 12 

Rider, badness in a, described, 
184 ; course to pursue in a 
strange country, 193 ; awk- 
ward, subterfuges of, 195 ; 
courage in, ib. ; advice to, re- 
specting falls, 197 ; acquire- 
ment of a good seat by, 198 ; 
position of, in leaping, 202 ; 
his hands, 204 ; when to 
leave his horse alone, 205 ; 
judgment in, 207 ; to adapt 
his riding to circumstances, 
2io ; to give his leader plenty 




of room, 211 ; what to do if 
he choose his own line, ib, ; 
how to use the spurs, 213 y 
how to treat his horse after 
hunting, 214 

Riot, breaking hounds from, 47 

Rugby, 237 


St. James's, ancient meets in, 17 

St. John, Oliver, on the killing 
of the fox, 26 

Salisbury, Duchess of, 14 

Sandcrack, 102 

Scent, deer, 49 ; fox, 65 ; otter, 
310; mysteries of, 139, 140 

Scotland, lists of hounds in, fox, 
333 ; hare, 341 

Scott, Sir Walter, on the killing 
of the fox, 27 

Sefton, Lord, 221 

Selby-Lowndes, Mr., pack of, 

Shakespeare's allusion to hare- 
hunting, 24 

Shaw, Mr., his account of a re- 
markable migration of otters, 

Sheep, moorland, protection of, 
from stag-hounds, 47 

Shires, definition of the, 216 ; 
hunting in the, 217 

Shoeing, 106 

Sidney's ' Book of the Horse,' 

Smith, Assheton, nerve and 
pluck of, 197 ; his mastership 
of the Quorn hounds, 221 

Smith, Thomas, plan of, for the 
Billesdon kennels, 113 ; a bad 
leap by, 203 

* Sober Robin,' a long-backed 


hunter, 173; remarkable leap 
of, 181 

Somerville's ' Chase,' 4, 20 ; on 
the situation for building a 
kennel, in ; his description 
of the perfect hound, 131 

Spencer family, connection of, 
with the Pytchley hounds, 


Spurs, use of, 213 

Stables, excessive heat in, 89, 
92 ; sanitary requisites of, 90 ; 
choice of servants for the, 91 ; 
how arranged at Badminton, 

Stag, ancient laws for the pro- 
tection of the, 38. See Deer 

Staghounds for the Exmoors, 47; 
breaking them from sheep, 
48 ; kennel management of, 
ib. ', number of the pa :k, 49 ; 
choice of tufters, 50 ; how to 
be handled in the field, 51 ; 
scenting discrimination of, 52 ; 
treatment of, after immersion, 
ib. ; causes of truancy in, 54 ; 
accessible to Londoners, 274 ; 
lists of, 321 

Stag-hunting in former times, 
2 3> 3 5 national love of, 36 ; 
peculiar charm of, on the Ex- 
moor, 37 ; season of, 41 ; 
choice and management of 
hounds for, 47 ; selection of 
horses for, 55 ; a day's ex- 
perience of, with Arthur Heal, 
ib. ; from London, 274 

Stamford, Lord, sale of the stud 
of, 1 80 

Steeple-chasers, conversion of, 
into hunters, 169 

Stirrups, length of, 202 

Strutt, Joseph, his notice of an 




early manuscript treatise, 5 ; 
his antiquarian researches, 8 
Suffield, Lord, Quorn hounds 
removed to Billesdonby, 113 ; 
anecdote of, 84 ; his master- 
ship of the Quorn hounds, 

TAILBY, Mr., 223 ; country of, 

Tar Wood run, the, 257 

Tattersall's, purchasing hunters 
at, 179 

Taunton as head -quarters for 
otter-hunters, 296 

Terriers, suggested use of, in 
hare-drawing, 79 ; valuable 
adjuncts to an earth -stopper, 
151 ; for otter-hunting, 318 

Thomson's verses on fox-hunt- 
ing, 24 

Thorough-breds as hunters, 168 

Thrush in horses, 102 

Tollit, Joseph, 258 

Tout, James, Lord Fortescue's 
huntsman, 32 

' Trencher hounds,' 29 

Trollope, Anthony, his expe- 
riences of hunting from 
London, 273 

Tufters, choice of, 50 

Turberville, George, 7 ; on fox- 
hunting, 27 

Twici, Guillaume, treatise on 
hunting by, 5, 7 ; his division 
of animals of chase, 22 ; on 
hare-hunting, 23 

{ UNKNOWN,' a famous hunter 
of bad shape, 172 


VACCIN T ATION for distemper, 127 
Voice, the, and its use, 145 
Vyner(Mr.), his account of the 
Baronne de Dracek, 15 

WALNOTH, Abbot, his love of 
the chase, 12 

Walter, Bishop of Rochester, his 
love of the chase, 1 1 

Walton, Izaak, on teaching by 
books, 204 

Warburton, Egerton, 2 ; his 
ideal of a good rider, 194 ; 
his description of the Tar 
Wood run, 256 

Warde, John, 235 

Warranties with horses, 1 79 

Wartnaby Stone-pits, 225 

Warwickshire pack and country, 

Warwickshire, North, pack and 
country, 250 

Wedgenoke Park, 9 

Weedon, 237 

Wellington, Duke of, kept a 
pack of hounds in the Penin- 
sula, 10 

Whaddon Chase pack and 
country, 252 

Whip -hand, not to be raised 
while taking a fence, 203 

Whipper-in, error of second, in 
waiting for stiay hounds, 141 ; 
quiet in, while hounds are 
drawing, 144; not to occupy 
the angle of a covert, 145 ; 
voice an evil in, 146 ; neces- 
sity of a good mount for, 147 ; 
unnecessary interference of, 
with hounds, ib. 

Whipper-in to staghounds, dutie 
of- 54 




Wliips, kennel, 148 

Whissendine, 227 

Whyte-Melville on thorough- 
breds as hunters, 1 68 ; on 
Irish hunters, 175; his dis- 
tinction between nerve and 
pluck, 196 ; on different ex- 
amples of riding at fences, 
209 ; on the Pytchley country, 
239 ; on hunting in the Pro- 
vinces, 243 

William the Conqueror, 9 


Wilton, Lord, on the first regu- 
lar employment of foxhounds, 

Wilton stud, sale of, 1 80 
Woburn kennels, no 
Woodstock, enclosure of, 9 
Wulsig, Abbot, his love of the 
chase, 12 

YATES, Edmund, his story of a 
horsefair, 178 






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